We had a long list of errands to run in Hargeisa, including to the National Bank, the tailor, the office supply store, and the market. To make it through a draining morning, we needed a breakfast fit for
kings…er, hardy nomads.
We made our way to Boodaale, the sort of down-a-back-alley joint that is full of regulars, locals, and others who know their way around a camel. Before entering through the plastic curtain, I was advised to tuck in a bit, that is to say, tuck my fringe well into my headscarf, to avoid any offending impressions.
We climbed our way up to the second floor, and seated ourselves at a rustic wooden table. soon enough, a waiter came with a wide metal bowl and two mugs: camel soup. bits of white, chewy camel hump bobbed in a clear, oily broth. The soup was incredibly rich, the kind of breakfast to get you through to lunch without pause.
But that wasn’t all! The main course came soon enough: a platter of camel liver and camel hump with slices of tangy lime, and another dish sprinkled with a spice mixture for dipping, like a bite-by-bite dry rub.
The liver was well-roasted and chewy, a bit like jerky, and chopped into bite-sized pieces. the morsels of hump fat, just what the camel
needs needed to get through weeks in the desert without sustenance, were melty with a slight chew. rolled in spice, sprinkled with lime… we ate and drank our fill.
On the way out, we checked out the kitchen, where a giant vat of soup simmered away, presided over by a culinary dromedary professional of highest regard.
And just before we slipped into the street, we had a celebrity sighting. or rather, one of us was sighted. A co-worker participated in last year’s Independence Day Celebrations, and his image made it to a calendar issued by the National Bank.
There were Oohs and Aahs and smiles, and maybe an autograph or two …
And then, bellies full, we headed out into the city, ready for the day.