Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Super Halal

A very pretty Latina broad walked into the restaurant. "Ohh, mamacita," Armando said to me. Then he held up his hands and said, "Hey, I am human," and we laughed long and jolly laughs.

Unlike at other restaurants, employees are not allowed to take cigarette breaks, but if you are Muslim you get to take prayer breaks, which is actually a better deal because you can take 10 or 15 minutes to pray, and take your own sweet time as well. Ramin pretends to be going on prayer breaks and then sits on the roof talking on his cellphone to his wife instead, or making up new raps.

The new floor manager Salaam forbade us from chewing gum while at work, which I will do anyway because I got away with it for 2 years at a private Christian school without getting caught once, and have learned the craft of being discreet. "We should stop calling him Salaam," I said to Armando, "and start calling him SADDAM!"

And in Arabic the word of greeting is also Salaam, and if I ever call out, "SALAAM!" then people get confused and think I am yelling out a greeting.

And people are always trying to talk to me in different languages, some in Arabic because they think I am Algerian or Syrian or otherwise Middle Eastern, and some in Spanish because they think I am a Latina broad, and it is very confusing.

Apparently at this Middle Eastern market called Super Halal Market in DC (apparently halal is the Muslim equivalent of kosher, and the animal's killing gets blessed by a Muslim priest, which I doubt makes any difference to the animal because it is still getting KILLED), this guy ran behind the deli counter and cut off his own hand with the meat saw, and started to freak out (I read about it in the Washington Post).

I said to Ramin, "What would you do if somebody ran behind the counter in YOUR deli and cut off their hand?" (because the deli is his domain).
"Hell, I wouldn't care," said Ramin.

And that is all.


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