Sunday October 9th, 2011

When people move to a new country, whether it’s for a long period or a short one, it’s very difficult for them to get used to the new place’s habits, food, or any other daily routine.

When you’re here for a short time it’s even more difficult to get used to things because you would say to yourself “Why do I want to adapt to something I will eventually have to de-adapt to in a year or so”. And here comes the difficult part because you won’t always be able to find the things you’re accustomed to, so you either get stuck in a cultural melting pot, or you will just have to temporarily forget what you know best and turn to what the country offers you.

Like for example food. Each country is used to its own spices, own flavors, own way of cooking and own meals. When you move out of your country, you either have to change all of this because you won’t be able to find everything you will need to cook, or you will have to prepare the meals with what you find (and thus experience new ways of cooking and new tastes of dishes your mum used to prepare for you). Usually Francois and I opt for this solution because we don’t mind some cultural mixes in our mouths.

But our friend today decided to choose a third option: find a grocery shop that sells traditional items from your country. So he found a Lebanese grocery shop in Lille, he went out there yesterday and shopped. You have to know that usually this alternative is more expensive than the others, but sometimes you just have to use the big means to reach what you’re looking for.

So he cooked today what he bought and invited us. On the menu: vegetarian red beans stew(“Fassoulya bzet”) accompanied by onions, Lebanese pickles and hommos. And of course all of this would not come down our stomach without the Lebanese bread 🙂

Fassoulya b zet (vegetarian red beans stew)


Onions (put in water to remove their strong taste) and Lebanese pickles

Lebanese Bread

It was really nice to get a taste of Lebanon after 2.5 months away. I remembered when my mum used to make this stew and obliged us to stay seated to the table until the plate is empty, because red beans have a lot of proteins and iron so they’re good for our health. But now I would eat it gladly without thinking about it twice and without hesitation. I guess it’s true what they say about distance makes you see things differently.

See you tomorrow!


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