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Tuesday, August 21 2018 @ 05:06 am PDT

Unpacking

General NewsToday I walked into a Middle Eastern restaurant for the first time in probably eleven years. I've had the food many times since, but usually from a deli or brought by a friend. So I wasn't prepared for the emotional hit.

I walked in and heard Arabic spoken. And Arabic music. And by all appearances they might as well have airlifted the little hole-in-the-wall place I remember from the first day we were let loose in Cairo. Memory overload...long-forgotten Arabic came back to mind...and a bit of that person came back.

Good food, nice people... I left shaken but wondering why. I don't particularly have bad memories of restaurants. In months in the region, I don't even have that many nasty incidents to remember, not proportionately. Why, then, did I sit in my car afterward and wonder if the best thing to do would be to cry?

Because I'm okay.
Because I felt the memories fully instead of anaesthetizing them.
Because I made it.
Because the thought of brushing up my Arabic crossed my mind.
Because the food tasted good and I wanted to go back for more.

It only took me twelve years to unpack.

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