Out of the ordinary

I knew nothing about Oman, except its geographic location. Searching for dishes resulted in (no surprise there) mixed cuisine, influenced by neighbouring countries. As I read, Masjuai was traditionally made with king fish and lemon rice, but finding a king fish on Granville Island marked in Vancouver, proved to be difficult, especially when you need it for today or next weekend. The fishmonger was really kind and open to answering all my questions. He suggested swordfish as an alternative. It was supposed to be grilled, but we did what we could at home. I am sure it was far for what I would potentially be served in Oman, but it was an adventure. A swordfish stake was very different from other fish I’ve had before. It is a mild-tasting, white-fleshed fish with a meaty texture. It is sold exclusively in steaks and it really tasted as meat. I am happy I opted out for something new and unknown.

A recipe for halwa was very similar to what my mom used to make for us, and we knew it as a home-made halva as opposed to what we could find at the market, confectionery stores or bakeries, which was closer to Greek tahini halva. Although I thought there was something secret in their recipes, both are actually easy to make.

Once is enough

It was difficult to hide
in a white night
bathing the bedroom,
with so many shiny witnesses,
looking down at us.
At first, I took is as romantic
and promising.
Then I realized how quickly it would reveal
the naked truth, the silent fear.
It made me uncomfortable.
Touching you
was like grabbing an iron rod,
burning and cold at the same time,
white and smooth from outside,
but cracked and rusty from inside.
The broken you,
The broken me.
How did we ever arrived to this moment?

Morning will sand the edges,
introduce smiles and words.
What a self-deception!
The dawn was a relief from
sharing the white with a stranger.
The words stayed never uttered,
like we forgot how to speak.
I tried to take it light, but
my feet were aching for the road,
my heart was yearning for air.

Once is enough
when all the lines are gone,
when eyes are searching for refuge,
when walls of different emotions
are crashing us down.
There is no decimal point
to allow for finer distribution,
for tiny components,
for slight variations.

Once is more than enough.