Thursday, 26 May 2016

About one burrito. And Soviet bananas. And happiness.

A few years ago, we were talking about a holiday that our friends had gone on with some other friends. 'They were disappointed', they said, laughing, 'as they just could not understand why every day had to be planned around where we were going for lunch and dinner!'

Ah, I said, next time you should go with us.

I don't ever underestimate the importance of food in my life. Food can make me happy. (and so can wine, but I will just focus on food for today...) But these days, with my obsession with getting fit, and trying to eat clean and healthy, low-carb food, I somehow forget how important it is to sometimes relax and just enjoy it- whatever you fancy eating at that moment in time.

Tuesday started badly. You see, the night before, because 5 years ago I had given birth to my wonderful baby girl, I decided that, despite it being a Monday night, I deserved to have a few drinks. I had to celebrate the whole nightmare  miracle of giving birth; as well as surviving the pool party with fifteen 5-year olds earlier that day.

So you imagine how painful Tuesday was, with waking up at 5:30 followed by school run and two hours of exercise classes. Being good, I had a protein shake straight after the weights class, as recommended. I then had two eggs. Still feeling pretty depressed, I thought I was going to cheer myself up with tofu crisps that my friend taught me how to make in the microwave. I had the whole pack of tofu. Some fruit. Some coffee. An awful lot of water. I could barely keep my eyes open. The day was dragging painfully slowly. At around 5:30pm my big girl was playing a flute solo at her summer recital at school.  I loved it, but in a melancholic way a very lethargic zombie would. 

' What’s for dinner? Husband whispered during a short break in the string concert performance, not much hope in his voice. He could see the state I was in.

Ha, I said. 'You probably did not expect this, but I have two nice sea breams that I am planning to bake with some vegetables'.

'OK', husband said, 'sounds good. But let’s take the kids to fast food place in Dar Salam (our local mall) as it will be pretty late by the time we are done here.'

Fast food.

Immediately, panic filled my brain. The fast food place to me in my then current state, suffering from hangover, exhausted from working out and still tasting tofu crisps in my mouth would be like a mug of steaming blood to a new vampire.

Of course, I thought to myself I did not have to eat. I could just feed the kids, and wait till we get home. And cook my healthy fish. 

On the way there, husband pointed out that my favourite Mexican place was, coincidentally, located just there, next to McDonald's. And that precise moment was the very moment my will power left me. I saw it go, I begged it to stay. But it just walked right out.

You have no idea, simply no idea what effect a burrito had on me that Tuesday evening. Have you ever seen sci-fi movies, where there is a robot, or an alien, or some other creature is lying there dead on the table; and then they pump some blue liquid in its veins and you can see it moving fast inside its body; and within seconds the eyes pop open? That was me.

Almost immediately I felt rejuvenated. Revived. Awake and so alive! And, most importantly, happy. Oh so deliriously happy! 'Nachos!' I growled, 'We need a plate of nachos, too! Now, now!!! '

Wow, I thought, looking around. Isn't life beautiful? Look at the crazy coloured pants on that woman's humongous arse! Hear that little spoilt brat driving his mother insane whining for a doughnut!  So much going on around me! So wonderful to be awake for it. 

Thinking about food and happiness, I also remembered the day my mother took me to Moscow. It was in the old Soviet times when we did not get any bananas in Baku. Difficult to imagine now, when bananas are everywhere. But in those days, we had to queue for a while to buy a couple of kilos of bananas. I came back to the hotel, and lay there on my bed, reading Sherlock Holmes novels, eating bananas. And you know what. I still think of that day as of one of the happiest days of my life.


  1. I'm glad you felt better after a while.
    Curious thing, here we buy bananas by "hands", not per kilo. Five units, that is a hand.

  2. Too bad, you right very good, but viewers are almost none :(