Sunday, January 17, 2010

The cycle of life and living

My envy of Arabian cats is over. It turns out I was envying dumpster cats who aggressively facilitate turf wars by punking any other cat who comes within fifty feet of their dumpster. These bin cats are like watching a feline version of Goodfellas. They fight with such lawless high decibel crazy-eyed cat brain we actually stopped in the middle of the road to watch two cats fight yesterday. If they could pull brass knuckles out and hold a roll of nickels while fighting, they would. They're nuts. The only thing of interest to these punk cats are dogs. Dogs function as kitty UN peacekeepers. The cats will stop tearing the fur off each other just as long as a dog is present, and as soon the dog leaves, they will continue to smolder hatred for the other until something inevitably blows up again. As usual, the cats ignore humans.

Now that I'm walking the stray peacekeeper pup around the neighborhood, I've gotten to know the nearby camels' schedules. Perhaps more importantly, they now know mine. You know the reverse relief busts in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, the ones that appear to follow you across a room? That's what camels do when you approach, except that they can behave like a five year-old boy who has a crush on a classmate and charge across the room and kick you or spit on you in the process. I'm still very nervous to get close to them, because I don't want to upset them and have them run off and leave me responsible. Some dynamics never change.

Inside the house, we had couscous and lamb kofta last night. We have an ongoing conversation about the cuteness of animals making them harder to eat. So far, the lambs are losing, despite being really, really cute. I maintain that if they were not really, really tasty, this would not be an issue. I have penned the future fates of other lambs by writing down recipes we are making while on our journey.

An unintended consequence of dinner in the villa is that I am now fully implicated in affecting our environment. I had hoped to remain an observer and reporter, but our dinner scraps end up in a bin outside, providing funding for the bin cats' turf wars. Even the streets are complicated in this part of the world.

As Americans will put beef in anything, the Arabian Peninsula seems to put milk in anything. Dairy here is fresh, tangy, integral to meals and reinforces my belief that the best money one can spend on education is on a plane ticket to the region of interest. Food is such a potent access point into any culture that it inspires me to consider where I am now sitting in front of this Melon Milk, and where else someone might be sitting in front of their version of the same. Perhaps the Carribbean.

A while back, I lamented that the chicken pop corn we purchased did not come with its own pop corn boxes as displayed on the front of the product package. After this lamentation, Nick found some chicken pop corn that DOES have the pop corn boxes inside as displayed on the front of the product package. This very simple act of his purchase made me giddy for a reason that probably only makes sense to me, and possibly him. Not exactly a potent food moment, but certainly an amusing one.

We bring food into the house, observe it, eat it and throw away the scraps. Cats fight over the bins, the walked dog has no clue about his role, we hear more cat fights and see the camels. We will perpetuate the same cycle the next time we are hungry. And so it is, another dispatch from our little slice of sandy desert.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Stay positive!