Saturday, January 22, 2005

Eid From a Dog's Eye View

I must share with you the extraordinary Eid had by one of our family members and so without further introduction I give the keyboard to our beloved Wafadar, the family dog.

Guest Post by Wafadar:

Hi, Blogistan. Wafadar here. I wonder if this will go into the record books as the first blog by a family dog? Thanks Momma for giving me a chance to share my scummy Eid with your blogger friends.

As Momma wrote, the day started out gray, cold and wet. I could hear a few goats bleating in the playing field across the ditch. The sound was very irritating because as you must know, I am the guardian of the family and I have to protect my family from all possible attacks. Boys, birds, men on bikes, nothing enters the protected perimeters without being challenged by me.

I remember when we lived in the house across from the village and goats would jump the fence and eat Momma's rose bushes. She would let me into the yard and I would show those goats who was boss. Arf, arf, I gotta laugh just thinking about it. Those goats would be so scared of me they would clear that fence in one amazing bounce and high tail it back to the village. But this was the first time I had heard and seen goats since we moved away from the village.

Soon, with the sounds and smells of animals and blood filling the air, I knew something special was happening. "Of course, its Eid ul Adha!" I remembered. By afternoon a most amazing development began. Boys (who are quite yummy tasting even in their natural state) smelling of blood and carrying bags of meat or animal hides began to pass the house. I couldn't see them from the back veranda where I live, but I could hear them and smell them plain as anything. I really wanted to get loose and investigate this amazing phenomenon, but, no such luck.

By late afternoon the drizzle turned into rain. The sounds of animals died out, the rain began to wash away the yummy blood smells, the tasty smelling boys stopped walking past. I settled into my kennel for a nice long snooze. Hey, you don't expect me to be on duty 24/7 do you? I gotta sleep sometime, and since I'm on duty at night, the afternoon is my time off.

After naptime, I was awakened by the smells of cooking chicken. "What, chicken on Eid! What's wrong with these people?" I thought. I couldn't smell any yummy goaty or beefy smells at all. What a let down. "Chicken bones again tonight," I thought with dread. Later, I heard the sounds of strangers in the house, but I could tell they were friends, people I'd heard and smelled before, so it was okay. About 7 pm, Momma brought me a plate of cooked chicken bones and told me "Eid Mubarak" excitement there. "Big deal. Don't these people know it's Eid?" The company left early and Momma, and Owl left in the moving kennel for a few hours. I could hear Abez typing, "Blog surfing again," I correctly guessed. The family returned, settled into watching the Talking Box, and forgot to release me for my evening perimeter check of the neighborhood till midnight. It was raining and to be honest, I really didn't want to leave my nice warm kennel, but it took forever to get my humans trained, so I try to not disrupt their schedules. When Momma called me, I stretched and yawned and lazed my way out the gate, thinking this would be a quick trip. Boy, was this dog ever wrong!

Once I was around the corner I picked up the smell of offal and blood. It was coming from so many places I hardly knew where to go first. Cow innards, goat guts, sheep entrails... the world was a veritable smorgasbord. Other dogs were feasting and I was so excited I even forget to sniff everyone. We gorged, moved on to another location and gorged again. None of us minded the cold rain falling. The food and company was so amazing I didn't even feel cold and wet. This went on for 3 hours, till I dragged myself home. I was sooo stuffed, I couldn't even bark. I just body-slammed the gate and stood there waiting to be let in. My humans are at my beck and call. I heard the clackitty clack of the computer keyboard, so I knew Abez or Owl both being nocturnal would be up soon to open the gate. Abez let me in, escorted me to the back veranda and foolishly gave me a bag of raw chicken. "Ha, as if I would want chicken after the offal orgy I had just experienced!" I did take one piece as a nightcap to chew on in my kennel, but the rest lay untouched in the bag for the next 24 hours.

Well, I can't say I didn't pay the price for my night of doggy debauchery. I awoke the next morning with a hacking cough, but I was one happy doggy still feeling all meaty inside. I can hardly wait to replay the event tonight. Eid al Adha Zindabad!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Sher-Korma and Chocolate Cake Eid

It's a wet and cold Eid here in Islamabad. A light drizzle is falling from a gray sky, the tempurature is a very cool 45 degrees F. Hubby and Large Hulking Son are both in Karachi on business, so we girlies are feeling the loss of our menfolk.

This morning, I breakfasted on the wonderful sher-korma Hubby made before he left last night. This is a dish made with vermicelli, cream, nuts, raisins, saffron and sugar. Decadently delightful, and Hubby makes the best in the whole world.

The girlies got up early, went to Eid prayers and later stopped in for sher-korma at Chai's place where Abez dropped her bowl and turned dessert for one into a room decoration for many to experience. She's such a sharing girl. Now the girlies are napping and recharging for a quiet evening at home with friends. I'm putzing around the house, staring out he window at the activity around the mosque up the hill and watching the cold wet people go about their business. Occassionally, the bleet of a goat or sheep punctuates the heavy, damp air.

The very few sacrificial animals available this year, coupled with the ensuing high prices for an animal, make this the least beastie-ish Eid I've ever seen. Normally, a week before Eid the town takes on the feel of a country fair as countryfolk bring in the sheep, goats, cows, buffalo, oxen, and camels to sell to the cityfolk. We usually donate the cash to a local mosgue and avoid the hassle of buying and butchering an animal, but we take a lot of interest in watching the animals that have invaded the city. Every evening we amuse ourselves with stories of goats seen on the back of motorcycles, in taxis; cows running amuck down the main streets.

Just last night as I was sitting in my car in F-6 as young, frightened looking cow came running up the side street, turned left onto Atta Turk Ave and kept on going. I fully expected to see some young men giving chase, but no one followed. He must have evaded his buyers. I considered abandoning my car and giving chase. That would have been exciting!!! I wondered what the custom regarding claiming a stray animal would be. Hubby tells the funny tale of a man who found a stray goat and went to his rooftop the announce the find as the custom dictates, but instead of crying out in a loud voice, "Goat, I've found a goat. Come claim your goat or it's mine." He whispered out the announcment and kept the goat for himself.

This year the papers said 50% of all our animals were shipped to the ME, or smuggled into Afghanistan where druglords are celebrating a bumper crop. Also cited as a cause for the shortage was the crack-down of cross boarder smuggling of cattle from India. Whatever the reason, it is apparent that very few animals were available and those that were here were out of the price range of the middle class buyer.

Well, enough of my Eid ramblings. Happy Eid to one and all.

The muslims will remember Abrahim this day and how he was asked to sacrifice his beloved son, but God stopped the sacrifice and subistuted an animal instead. As a Christian, I know the reason that God stopped the sacrifice was to show that only He (God) would be asked to sacrifice His Beloved Son (Christ) and when the time came, it would proceed, without an animal exchange. God sacrificed the one, to save the rest. I look on today as a reminder of God's love for all his children to allow the necessary sacrifice to proceed. Christ loved us enough to give himself as the sacrifice. God is my Father, Jesus is my brother and Savior. And today, we have Sher-korma and German Chocolate Cake to celebrate that fact.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Celebrate Good Times

Sing with me children, "Cellll e brate good time, come on.. let's celebrate!" What are we celebrating you ask..... Not one, but TWO Dunkin Donuts shops have opened in Islamabad this week!!!

You can immagine my suprise a few days ago when I answered a knock at the door with, "What's the password?" (I knew it was the girls returning from a dinner with Chai.)
"Dunkin Donuts!" was the response.

I flung the door open with a cry of delight and grabbed the pro-offered bag. I rushed to the dinning room, calling Hubby to come share the booty. There in the bag was a chocolate frosted with toasted coconut and a strawberry jelly filled donut. We all eagerly shared the treat.

"What,I can't believe they already opened and I didn't even know it!" I had previously been planning to camp out in front of their door and be the first customer. I missed my big chance, but, this blog isn't about missed opportunities... it's all about the simple joys of the back home taste of commercial junk food. Yummmm!

So, bloggers, What's your favorite junk food delight?