taste of middle east

last weekend i got to see one of my high school friends who currently lives in qatar. i haven’t seen lejla since 2001. (well, i did see her once in 2010. – just for a second, but you don’t count that – given that we barely exchanged few words) and i was delighted when i received her message she’s coming to milan on business.

as we were planning our little date, i was wondering what she would be like. we were not actually the best friends in high school, so i wondered how it would go.

our date lasted for 5 hours, we talked about highlights of the last 13 years: our lives abroad, studies, job, marriages, and of course how do we feel about our homeland and life we had there. we had a great time.

before coming to milan, she asked me also if i had special wish from qatar. since i’m not an expert on the area and i’m not fan of souvenirs (after years of travelling, i’ve accumulated quite an amount of them), i told her she might bring me some spices or something of that sort.

oh, she brought a bunch of spices (and went to the souk especially for that!), and i have to admit that out of a zillion i’ve heard of only one! from that day on my house has the fragrance of a middle eastern souk. apart from spices i also got some delicious dates, regular & chocolate ones. unlike spices, i am not sure how long they will last, and therefore i’m attaching a photo (so that i would at least remember them).

31_dates

however, the aftertaste was the best part of our date. it was truly great to talk to someone who has similar background, goals and who faced similar kind of problems while pursuing those goals. and even though we haven’t seen each other for so long, it felt so natural. i admire lejla’s determination and persistence, i enjoyed listening to her stories and i love her attitude towards life. i also figured how much we have in common (which i didn’t know all along). i feel truly blessed to have a friend like her and to be able to give a sneak peak at that corner of the world.

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