Varieties of Kunafic experience

1. The eclipsing of Tamriya by Kunafa
In July, Tamriya trumped Bakalava as the ambassador of my Mediterranean sweet tooth. On the last night of that trip to Amman, I was introduced to Kunafa. My taste buds did not quite realize the potential just then of yet another conversion (it was very late, and I was very full). But the stage had been set for another abandonment of culinary loyalties. Come September.

2. Habibah: where the pilgrims congregate
You can have Kunafa at dozens of places in Amman, but it is only at Habibah that the Kunafa experience borders on the sublime (if ever I was forced to choose between an ascetic Buddha and a portly smiley one, suffice to say it will not be a decision that will tie me up in knots). And among the many branches of Habibah in Amman, there is one in the old city that sells pretty much just Kunafa, and it is there where the pilgrimage peaks.

3. A tale of two Kunafas
According to Plato, initially there was only one Kunafa. Vagaries of nature forced them to part, and then there were two: one smooth and one rough. And they yearn to be united ever since.

4. The guide and the non-guide
Context is everything, and mine was the city of Amman, a Jordanian and an Iraqi. Mohammed Shahein, the Jordanian, knows the food centers of Amman as well as you would know the back of your hand if you stared at it long enough. Hussein Hamed, from Baghdad, was just as happy to be there as I was.

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Why Is There Randomness At All?

– There are sea gulls and hawks and squid and rhesus monkeys. If there were no randomness, there would only be rhesus monkeys.

– Half your life you lie; the other half you wished you hadn’t. Randomness guarantees remorse.

– It is possible to brew that tiny little storm in a tea cup precisely because it is possible not to do so. And you can thank randomness for that.

– It is only the the impishness of self-generating elves which makes sure that every time you and I see a random act,  we can’t say “now that is awesomely random, but you know, I think it could be more so.” Elves bestow random closure.

– The breeze that blows twice as hard blows only half as long. That is not random. That just sounds good.