All posts tagged: market

what’s to eat #46

I’ve lived in Hargeisa for nearly three years, and learned a lot through trial and error and… more error. I can get around pretty well on my own, including at the market, diving in, finding what I need, negotiating a bit, and jumping back out.  But there’s one section of the market I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around: Grain Alley. (This is a totally fabricated name that I established to reflect how intimidated I am by this place. It works, yes?). Grain Alley is lined on either side with giant sacks of legumes, cereals, and other dried goods. Vendors, all women dressed in colorful jilbab or wrapped in patterned scarves, sit perched atop their mountainous spreads , each sack not much farther than arms length… So, I’m reaching out, friends. Anybody out there a cereals/grains aficionado? Anyone cook regularly with these? What am I working with here? 

on a trip to the camel market

I’ve seen a few camels from a distance since arriving to this place, and I’ve had my fair share of camel delicacies (spiced hump!). Yet, the mystery remained–what strange creatures! For an opportunity to get up close and (very) personal with these bizarrely majestic (or majestically bizarre) animals, we headed to the Hargeisa camel market of a Friday. It was a light day at the market, as a holiday had been declared; camel trade just wasn’t what it usually is. Nevertheless, there were gracious and comedic regulars all too ready to help us get to know the stock for sale. For future reference: a camel sounds precisely like a dinosaur. Or, like a dinosaur ought to sound. We hemmed and hawed and snapped photos, but decided not to purchase on that particular day; perhaps we’ll be back when we’re ready to reconsider. For now, much appreciation to the market folk who allowed us to sniff, pet, and ogle, and especially those who helped us get out of the way just in time. Other finds at the …

on upheaval

A good friend used to console me with the words of her father: The only thing constant is change. There are people who crave change, and others who crave consistency, and then people like me who want both, and neither. If change is on the horizon, I cower in fear; if the status quo is all I see for miles around, I become antsy to the point of agitated. That is to say, i’m not especially adept at riding the Waves of Life. I prefer to be out there on my life raft, hand on one hip in a panic, trying to boss around the tides. As you can imagine, i don’t regularly get my way. Leaving a destructive job is a big step; doing so in a foreign land with no back-up plan is a bit outrageous. Leaving a long-term relationship is a life-changing choice; going solo in a foreign land is, quite, literally, life-altering. Doing both in the space of one week is….let’s call it bold, shall we? Bold seems appropriately kind-spirited. The biggest urge during moments of …