TRAVEL THERE: WHAT I DID ON THE DAY OF THE WEDDING
Waking up in my hotel room, my first thought was, “This is it. Bassem and Mariam’s wedding day.” My next thought was a sense of gratefulness that I hadn’t allowed Bill to talk me into a tour on the day of the wedding. I planned to relax all day.
Back to Le Marche Cafe
When we headed out of the room on our second morning at the Fairmont, there was no question about where we’d have breakfast. We were going to Le Marche, as much for the delicious food as for our friend, Ahmed. We were momentarily disappointed when Ahmed was not there to greet us, but when we asked for him, the other guy faded into the background and a wide-smiling Ahmed appeared to welcome us back.
We sat down to peruse the menu and enjoyed several chance encounters with family, who passed to and fro in the lobby. The groom scooted by on an errand, then along came the bride and her mother with a trail of attendants. The attendants were in charge of the luggage and a rolling rack which was transporting the wedding gown. Don’t worry the gown was completely covered, so there was no peeking. Double kisses all around!
Next to arrive were nephew Steven and his friend John. They decided to join us for breakfast and enjoy the attentions of Ahmed, the new friend of the family. The meal was delightful. I ordered a scone and got a second one on the house. Steven ordered a chocolate croissant and got a Danish to boot. Bill was delighted by his generous slice of quiche. John, however, did not have such great fortune with his selection.
John’s Egyptian fantasy meal was a plate of fresh dates and figs. He arrived a day or two before we did and asked for this delicacy at every opportunity and though he continued his quest throughout the whole trip, I don’t think he found it anywhere. So much for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Ahmed was so disappointed to admit he couldn’t provide the plate of dates and figs, but he suggested fruit instead.
John wanted to know how the fruit was presented. “Is it on a platter or in a bowl?” John asked. “Whatever you like,” Ahmed assured him. “Is it a fruit salad?” John asked. “No,” Ahmed replied, “it is a salad in a bowl.” That being settled, John decided to see what would appear.
Ahmed roamed back and forth between the kitchen and the table. Beverages were the first to appear and for awhile it seemed that was about all we were going to get. Then the orders dribbled out. First the pastries. Then a while later, Bill got his quiche. We were all just about done, when we started making noise about the missing fruit. Ahmed was contrite in his protestations and assured us the fruit was almost there.
Ahmed, you were a treasure, but the fruit bowl, salad or whatever was a disappointment! I’m sure any American could have driven to the nearest Kroger, bought some grapes, apples and oranges, returned home to chop them up into a bowl and then delivered them to the family, faster than Ahmed delivered up the same boring bowl from somewhere in the bowels of the Fairmont. Not even a pineapple slice, no melons, nothing. Just grocery store fruit!
Going Separate Ways
Bill was still having a difficult time believing I did not want to fill up every moment of the trip with tours and museums, but I was truly new and improved. When Steven and John suggested he join them for a trip to the Khan-il-Kalili, I had my fingers crossed he’d join them, so I could have some alone time.
The crossed fingers worked. The guys headed off on their adventure and I created my own spa day. Come back next week and see how it went.