A Calm Storm

The blog of Sholeh Samadani Munion

An afternoon in Haifa

One day in February, a few friends decided to take a walk after lunch.   Two young men and three young women took the stairs down the mountain, with no particular goal in mind.  February in Haifa is warm during the day and cooler at night, and this day was an average one.  They wandered down the twisting, cat-infested streets with the aimlessness of an empty afternoon ahead.

Upon finding trees in a park, one of them climbed an olive tree.  The others gathered around.  They all watched some dogs run by, it was such a normal thing on this wonderful little afternoon.  An old man sat on a park bench, as old men have always done and will hopefully always do.

Next to the park was a playground.  Grandmothers encouraged children to play, and watchful mothers gossiped together.  As the young people tested the playground equipment and took pictures, the adults watched, a bit mistrustfully.  Why would such young people with no apparent purpose be up to good?

Some of the streets were ones that they had never traveled, even after months and years in this city.  Some were familiar and had too many memories attached.  And as the sun went down they began to realize how hungry they were.  The consensus was that they should buy meat from the best butcher shop in the city, take it to the apartment with the large balcony, and feast into the evening.  They stopped at the bazaar to buy tomatoes, potatoes, and onions.

Walking up the mountain was harder than walking down…especially since their stomachs were starting to complain.  They arrived at their destination, immediately dividing tasks.  The young men started the grill and began to barbeque while the young women made fries in the wok and chatted in the kitchen.  They gathered around the table, placed the food in the middle, and like a proper, odd sort of family, ate one of the best meals they had ever had.

At the end, there was the important matter of dessert.  Spiced hot chocolate was made and the lights dimmed as they welcomed the evening into their lives.


3 thoughts on “An afternoon in Haifa

  1. (and even if it’s not my memory, it’s close enough to make me swell with gratitude and with nostalgia at my own. that are also yours. and are soo many others’, as that place is divided up neatly to fit into soo many of our hearts)

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