Monday, December 19, 2005


Christmas day, December 25, is just around the corner, although for the Armenian Orthodox Church, the birth of Christ is celebrated on January 6. In Jerusalem, however, because of the adherence to the Julian calendar, this holy day is observed on January 19, the day after "Bethlehem Day." So, I get to celebrate three times.

Today, after a morning of standing in line at the post office, finishing up some work, and missing lunch, I had a yen for chocolate. My co-worker and I have the same soft spot for the brown yumminess, preferably Cadbury's, and because we're really hungry, the Dairy Milk Whole Nut kind. So I went to down to the convenience market across from the Monastery, but it was closed. Undaunted, I headed toward the Jaffa Gate, and at the little market there, lo and behold, 200 gram bars of exactly what we wanted. I bought two bars and headed back to the office. According to the packaging, that is, Chocolate Familiar con Leche con Avellanas; Chocolate de Leite Familiar com Avelas ); Huishoudmelkchocolade met Hazelnoten; Sokolata Galaktos Oikiakes Chreseos me Phountoukia. In Armenian, it's doorm gaghinov.

On the way, something drew me down the stairs of the Armenian Tavern. Actually, it was the menu board outside, on which were listed available sandwiches. A-a-ah, basturma, "The Armenian cured beef called basturma may be the most powerfully flavored cold cut in the world, less a foodstuff than a force of nature, with a bit of the chewy translucence of first-rate Italian bresaola, a ripe, almost gamy back taste, and then -- pow! -- the onslaught of the seasoning, a caustic, bright-red slurry of hot pepper, fenugreek and a truly heroic amount of garlic that hits the palate with all the subtle elegance of a detonated land mine. Jonathan Gold (LA Weekly)". For 15 shekels (about $3), I bought a sandwich and, munching with gusto, I walked back slowly to savor it before climbing up the 32 stairs to the office.

Licking my chops, I came in and immediately sat down at the computer to write about this adventure, washing it down with a fresh cup of coffee and a piece of the delicious chocolate with whole nuts. This is as close to perfect as it gets for now!!! :-)


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