The Secret Courtyard Laugh

Unplanned, and with the best falafel sandwiches I have had since Gaza, Reemo and Omar took me out to the Arabian Gulf. This ridiculously simple afternoon, I wouldn’t trade for a 20 star restaurant / environment.

The sandwich itself, old-school and loaded with fried aubergine, cauliflower, and french fries atop falafel and all of the trimmings. I honestly don’t understand how it can get any better than these little simple pleasures. ESPECIALLY WHEN OMAR SNEEKS OFF AND WRITES THIS INTO THE SAND HOW AM I SO BLESSED WITH SUCH CHEESE FOR BELOVED FAMILY?

I made them scoot forward to sit next to it, so that I might take the photo. If they weren’t already married, I would have forced them to make this their wedding album’s front cover. Also, their love overwhelmed me to tears, these assholes.

After slipping leftover stress into the Gulf, we spent a couple of hours walking around the old souq where I was a proper creep taking photos of strangers. Best part of our walk was an open door which, like a button or a lever (or an exposed nerve on the emotional landscape of someone who has done me harm), is something I cannot ignore (and today, I am seeing all manner of exposed nerves and I have had to pin my hands to my breast so I not hammer in this day’s piece).

I had led us into an absolutely stunning private courtyard with a small corner coffee shop. When we entered the little shop, even the employee seemed shocked that anyone had found them.

No surprise that the loveliest place is the hidden one, unknown, unpopular. (Being the judgy bitch that I am, I will be the first to judge as loser s/he who needs to be the popular kid in the popular club. Legit and hard judgmental. And fucking well-earned, this.)

In this little courtyard, I had the longest and hardest laugh I have had since I can’t remember when. The laughing was so guttural, I couldn’t take a proper breath or see straight through tears. I cannot share the why of it, just know that it lifted me onto a cloud that I’ve been riding since. Hurrah!

Final note on today, I followed this man around to take his photograph. I thought I was being discreet; I was in fact not. Lucky that I am here with you now in one piece, without having taken a cane to the head. I am excited to share that I have turned street photography into an extreme sport.

Today, I am grateful for:
1. The moral compass of my family.
2. Pita bread.
3. That salt-water philosophy continues to win.

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