Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What's in a name?

It's a thirty minute drive. Try to ignore the trash and debris hanging onto the long chain-link fence running alongside the highway. It's in the desert, and leaving the city any time between noon and four will guarantee a hot sun glaring off your windshield and sunburns on your arms if you're not careful. Along the way, you'll pass two kinds of vehicles: those with the windows rolled up tight against the rubber guards, sealing in the cool environment with air-conditioners running on high (never a good idea in the desert, but given a choice between heat and rationality the heat always wins), and those with the windows rolled down, trucks so old that the word Toyota painted in red across the back has been worn away to just two or three letters; oya.

So far it's only been ten minutes, but you can already see it glinting in the distance. At first you dismiss it as part of the mirage (after all, mirages are so familiar around here that you can sometimes experience them in the middle of the city). But no, not this time. There it is, emerging out of the reflection, then pulling away, rising above it, and now hovering over it, an image to be reflected in its own right: two Arabic eights entwined together in unholy matrimony. "Thamanya-thamaneen," we call it - the Eighty eight, the all too familiar ubiquitous M, a glaring cheap sticker in an otherwise clean sky (I'm lovin' it!).

Twenty minutes go by and you're pulling up at the drive-through window to get your order. A young Filipino man sticks his head out. He speaks three languages, probably has a BA in Engineering, and is here to serve you with a smile. You know his kind very well by now, this country is ripe with them, the Middle East's own caste of Untouchables but with a much nicer label slapped unto them: "guest workers." He's looking a bit haggard (dealing with stoned Arab boys all day has taken its toll on him) but seems glad to see you. He processes your order graciously (pay him with Dinars, hon, your Dollars are no good here).

So now you're in the car, sitting in the middle of the desert with nothing around you but a huge expanse of sand and sky. It's time to experience the McArabia in all of its glory. You unwrap it and take a look. Yes, it matches the descriptions perfectly: "Arab bread, grilled chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and Arab sauce". All is in order. You take a bite.

How does it taste? This symbol of Arab cuisine sucked in through the imperialist machine and spat out to be consumed by other Arabs like me. How does it taste for you? I ask this out loud but you only frown at me and say:

"It's just a fucking sandwich."
"That's not the point."
"What's the point, then?"
"It's fucking crap, isn't it?"


Blogger William said...

I like the McArabia though. Kinda tasty. Equivalent to taco bell I guess. It's not real mexican food, but people eat the hell out of it because of the name.

3:17 PM  
Blogger McArabian said...

I'll take a chicken taco over the McArabia any day of the week. Nothing beats an In-N-Out burger though. Damn, now I want one.

3:34 PM  
Blogger William said...

PD Quix or Jack In The Box... man, now I miss home.

3:46 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren, nike free run, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet online, sac longchamp pas cher, michael kors pas cher, longchamp outlet, tiffany and co, uggs on sale, prada outlet, replica watches, tiffany jewelry, nike free, polo outlet, longchamp pas cher, prada handbags, louboutin pas cher, chanel handbags, nike air max, air max, ugg boots, nike air max, nike roshe, burberry pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, gucci handbags, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin uk, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin shoes, cheap oakley sunglasses, nike outlet, kate spade outlet, jordan shoes, jordan pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses wholesale, replica watches

5:17 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

converse pas cher, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet online, hollister pas cher, timberland pas cher, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, hogan outlet, kate spade, nike tn, true religion outlet, nike air max uk, michael kors, true religion jeans, uggs outlet, nike air max, nike free uk, north face, ray ban uk, north face uk, true religion outlet, nike blazer pas cher, true religion outlet, michael kors, uggs outlet, abercrombie and fitch uk, lululemon canada, vans pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, ray ban pas cher, michael kors outlet, oakley pas cher, nike roshe run uk, polo lacoste, nike air force, ralph lauren uk, coach purses, coach outlet, guess pas cher, new balance, hollister uk, coach outlet store online, sac hermes, burberry handbags, replica handbags

5:20 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

iphone 6 plus cases, giuseppe zanotti outlet, hollister, reebok outlet, mont blanc pens, abercrombie and fitch, jimmy choo outlet, iphone 6s plus cases, iphone cases, nike roshe run, north face outlet, s6 case, new balance shoes, mac cosmetics, iphone 6 cases, timberland boots, instyler, celine handbags, asics running shoes, ferragamo shoes, beats by dre, ghd hair, oakley, baseball bats, valentino shoes, herve leger, wedding dresses, babyliss, vans outlet, nfl jerseys, p90x workout, mcm handbags, ralph lauren, bottega veneta, nike huaraches, longchamp uk, soccer shoes, iphone 5s cases, iphone 6s cases, ipad cases, insanity workout, north face outlet, nike air max, lululemon, chi flat iron, soccer jerseys, nike trainers uk, hollister clothing, louboutin, hermes belt

5:23 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, coach outlet, montre pas cher, moncler, ray ban, canada goose uk, karen millen uk, ugg uk, pandora uk, moncler, converse outlet, juicy couture outlet, gucci, moncler, moncler, canada goose, swarovski, replica watches, ugg pas cher, lancel, wedding dresses, canada goose jackets, hollister, canada goose outlet, moncler outlet, hollister, supra shoes, juicy couture outlet, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, vans, canada goose outlet, barbour uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, links of london, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, nike air max, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, canada goose, converse, barbour, pandora charms, swarovski crystal, louis vuitton, thomas sabo, marc jacobs, canada goose outlet, canada goose, moncler uk

5:27 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home