Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Khudarji Report 19: 10/10/09

Local garlic has arrived, as has siliq (Swiss chard), late-season corn, and late-season watermelon (on the smaller side).

Green laymoun abu surra (navel oranges) has arrived along with their more-ripe incarnation.

An argument about potatoes (Egyptian vs. Saudi vs. Levantine ends with the shopkeeper stating aloud: "There is no better potato!" referring to the local produce covered in red earth.

The economic crunch expresses itself in requests for produce. Instead of asking for "a kilo of...", for the first time we hear: "I want a thousand lira's worth of...." 1,000 LL does not buy much of anything these days.

There is a dangerous guessing game concerning some of the neighborhood's children; estimates of their ages based on appearance will be anything from two to four years off the mark.

Local workers from Syria, Egypt, and Sudan living in the buildings that they spend the day constructing are likewise malnourished; there is a box of produce in the shop that technically would be referred to as "garbage"; the discussion of the price of the contents of this box is such that the dignity of these men is maintained.

The Khudarji Report, by Zayd, reflects conditions unique to a neighborhood in central Beirut; the status at your local mahal al-khudra will most likely vary.

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