Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Illegal Activity... Lemonade

Today Heather and I went down to our strip of shops to buy some groceries. Outside of the bakery, we saw a couple of guys selling something out of humongous keg-looking coolers. Heather stared at the Arabic labels for a second and figured out we had "Hindi date juice," "lemon juice," "date juice," and "banana milk."

We apparently stared at them for too long because the owner of the stand ran over and asked if we wanted to taste them. We looked at each other. Isn't that illegal? "Are we allowed to?" we asked him. "For you, it's ok," he replied. "For Muslim, no, but you..."

We looked at each other. Okay. The vendor sent his small assistant into the bakery to get what must have been the only tasting cup in the store, as it took him about 15 minutes to come back out with it.

The juice seller poured us some of the "date juice," and handed me the cup. I looked at Heather. She shrugged. I glanced around surreptitiously to see if there was a cop nearby, then I took a small sip.

I felt my teeth decay considerably on the first gulp. Man, these people drinks things sweet. One glass of tea will give you diabetes (Heather's joke, not mine). Then the vendor rustled up two more cups, and we tried the lemon juice and the banana milk, both times glancing around the street like we were getting away with something. Who knew Ramadan would make me feel like an 18 year old sneaking shots of tequila in an alley?

The lemon juice was fantastic. Just like MomMom used to make (except not out of a can). The banana milk (yes, I said banana milk) was weird. It did taste like bananas. And milk. But it wasn't sweet, and it was fairly thick to drink. Hm. Finally I tried the "Hindi date juice" (don't ask me why it was called that; I don't know). It tasted like the "date juice," but with about a hundredth of the sugar content.

We decided to go with the lemon juice.

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