July 16, 2005

Outted at the Fromagerie

Today I was wandering around Salambo looking for something to eat, and noticed a cute little stand advertising cheese-wares, "Fromagerie El-Bakara."

My Arabic must be getting stronger because I managed to utter a complete, more or less intelligible sentence to the merchant without resorting to French or English. Which is why I was especially surprised when, after nodding to show he'd understood, the merchant followed up with, in Arabic, "You're American, right?"

This is the first time in Tunis that American has been anyone's first guess. What's more, my earlier post notwithstanding, this guy actually seemed pleased when I answered, "Yes."

After more conversation --- I make out the basic parts of "pleased to meet you," "welcome," etc. --- I select a firm yellow cheese with black peppercorns, and a couple eggs he explains are from "Arabic hens, fresh from the farm." These come in a pleasing variety of hues and shapes and for the first time it occurs to me to wonder how they get the eggs all the same size and color back home.


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