Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ice Cream in a Bag

I am always trying to find productive and fun ways to spend my weekend, especially since I only have one day off per week.  Often I elicit ideas and suggestions from my students and colleagues who usually have some very interesting things on their lists.  When listening to ideas; I take several things into consideration.  I think of the cost for my entire family, the ease or difficulty in transporting small children, and whether this activity will be suitable and enjoyable for everyone.  So, when one of my students suggested we go to buy ice cream at a parlor in Bahri and then walk across the bridge into Omdurman, I thought it was perfect.  The trip would not be too expensive and transportation very easy. 

Friday came and the children were very excited.  We talked about different flavors of ice cream we had tasted before and the many types of ice cream cones that were available.  It had been over a year since we had a good ice cream cone.   It was winter last year when we left American, so no ice cream was available.

We had just about decided what cones we wanted when the time came to go.  We got on the bus and left Thawrah off to Bahri.  As we travel, I think of the many cone varieties. “What kind would I get: sugar, waffle, or plain?” We make it to the shop and I see BLOCKS of ice cream.  I have never ever seen BLOCKS of ice cream.  My children were stunned!!!  There were men cutting off smaller blocks and putting them in bags.  I was still searching for cones.  I was thinking this was some kind of factory and the people had special orders for some big event.  Finally, it was our turn in line.  The student accompanying us asked what flavors we wanted. After choosing, the worker started cutting blocks of ice cream, put them in four plastic bags, wrapped them in newspaper and gave them to us.  It was then that I realized we were about to eat ice cream out of a bag.

As we walked across the bridge, the Nile was unbelievably beautiful.  I looked at my boys faces.  They were going through some major adjustments trying to eat ice cream from a bag.  We were having an experience of a lifetime.  The ice cream was very delicious.  But the bag thing really made me laugh and say, “Only in Sudan!!!@$$#%.!@!!”