The Ten Piasters and The Swing

A typical day of Eid when we were kids was to wake up early, wear our new Eid clothes and then have breakfast which was AMAZING, it was always the same and was never changed and I had it until I was 25 whenI left to Canada that consisted of and only fried Chicken Liver drenched with lemon juice, yummy yummy.

Right after breakfast we got our Edieh from our parents that we did not spend until we got to taita and seedo’s house ( the grandparents).

Why wait you ask? Since we had this fancy big supermarket steps away from our house? With all the expensive chocolates and Kinder surprise and Notella and this and that?

Becuase ( write this down boys and girls) :

The secret to preserving your Edieh and getting more for less is ….. quantity and not quality…. yup , you ot it, the cheaper, the better. So right next to my grandparents house was this little store which was called baqalet Abu Ya32oub ( the father of Jacob) and he was the only shop open on the first day of eid because he was Christian.

I used to love Abu Ya32oub, he was always kind to us kids and always had those little guns that had those red rolls with dots of gunpowder where you click the trigger and it makes a popping noise, sometines we would bang the dots with a rock instead of buying the gun. We also bought 6o2e3(fireworks) and  sa7bet balaleen (scratch and win and you get balloons).

He always gave us a good deal and never cheated us. God rest his soul and bless him, he was a source of happiness to us kids for years.

Around 1 o’clock we would go to taita and seedos house and have the eid feast and what a feast it was, a stuffed roast lamb cooked outside in my taitas backyard in this  BIG oven, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one, it’s this huge metallic oven that looks like a wardrobe , taita would take the gas canister and hook it up outside to use it.

She did not and still does not have a fancy oven till this day and insists on using this thing. God love my taita she still likes things the old fashioned way.

We also had stuffed chickens and the most AMAZING Spinach fatayer that till this day I have not tasted better, oh how I miss them, I can’t wait to visit my taita and have her make me some, allah protect her ya rab .

After we eat quickly the uncles start giving us our Eideh. The best thing about going to the grandparents house when were were kids was the fact that  grandpa was the oldest of his brothers, so all his brothers and their sons (Moms uncles and cousins) had to visit him first on the first day of Eid.

Now why would this matter to a kid? Well, more Eideh of course, the more people come the more our pockets got filled and jingled with Ten and five pisater coins. We would keep counting them all day and compare the loot with the cousins. The boys always got more money than the girls because they were boys.

It was sooo unfiar! it used to piss me of and I think that’s when the feminist me started emerging because after I started thinking “Why are htey getting more?” I started to , and whenever I visited taita. to always play with the boys and go up on the roof with my uncles to help them fix the antenna to spite taitas grumpy old lady friends who LOVED the phrase ya 3aib ilshoom (shame on you) and said it like a broken record when I did anything boy like.

Seriously , some of our traditions suck for little girls and they do more harm than good.  I am glad my mom and dad were cool and open minded and never said that to me , I think I would have developed a complex or something of feeling inferior to boys.

But I digress..

Then without shame a bunch of like 5- 10 kids would go around to all the relatives houses that did not visit my grandparents where we would knock on their doors just to say HAPPY EID and wait with puppy eyes to get money …LOL, what a bunch of 7afartal we were ??? How shameless!

I can’t believe my mom let us do it …heheheh, but I guess it was the tradition in my grandparents old poor neighbourhood and it is the Arab/Muslim version of Halloween.

After collecting the loot the fun and games begin, we used to go to the dukaneh (Little shop) and buy as many sweets and candy and chips as we can, we ate till we exploded.

 But I was always the smart one, I would buy just a little bit of candy and will insist that mom take me to the big fancy toy store ( was not big or fancy at all, it just had more toys and it was up on the mountain where my grandparents lived) so I could buy all these useless dollar store equivalent nick nacks.

Then we would go to the 7ara (the hood) to ride on the GIANT, quickly assembled in one day, all parts man made SWING that consisted of this HUGE wooden plank that I think sits, no no, not sits, stands 10 kids at a time because only the Sissy little babies and woosy girls sat down and I aint a woosy, lol, we would pay the guy 10 piasters to ride those swings

 Now THAT was so much fun! I wish I can still do that, most probably the most unsafe swing since it was just made by whomever and just for the Eid. It is the 7afratal swing, lol, it was, but I loved it.

But seriously, mom needed to watch us more. Although I have to admit, back in the days all the kids got together, went outside in the morning and came back before sunset, everything was so much nicer and safer where everybody knew everybody.

After such a long day we would go home our new Eid clothes filthy, our hands sticky with sweets, exauseted and our Edieh spent.

I wish all of you a very happy Eid with all the people you love.

And since I am wishing here I also wish for peace so some of the kids of today maybe one day get to have what we had when we were kids.


14 Responses

  1. WOW, this is a very long post.

  2. WOW!! 😀 long but very nice post
    kol 3amo enti b alf 5ear ya amar, you took me back to the good old days, dukaneh o 3edeyeh o denya 😀 amazing walahi, and lsn, when you go to amman, you HAVE to save me some of ur teata’s fatayer 😉
    have a wonderful Eid 7aki, greetings for baba 7aki and little 7aki as well 🙂

  3. Thanx Maioush 😀

  4. “The boys always got more money than the girls because they were boys.”
    3njad! I always got the most 3edyat, bcuz I am the first grand daughter :D:D at least in Saudi
    Eid Mubarak to you and all the 7akis should’ve took little 7aki to the Rogers Centre for the Eid carneval,,,their swings looked very kool last year…not sure about this year 🙂

  5. of the best posts I read. I felt that I lived the experience even if I was not there.

    Unfortunately, I rarely enjoyed such eids coz I was an expat all my life. 😦

    but I am sure you would be willing to join my Eideyah Campaign..hehehe

  6. (Belated) Eid Mubarak 7aki! Hopefully you enjoyed it… and LOL at hamza, I was going to write the exact same thing!
    You are multitalented 7aki, the singing, and the way you have with words that makes the reader feel like s/he is actually watching the moment happen… y3ni shway shway 3aleena 7aki!!

    Bs yea, Eid when we were younger was always the best, kan elo ta3em gheer! You need that kind of innocence to really enjoy it

  7. Dana: I only heard about the rogers centre after the fact, next year I will make sure to take little 7aki.
    I hope you enjoyed your Eid this year and thanks for the wishes

    Hamza: Thanks Hamza I am glad you liked it 🙂
    And where do I sign to be part of the Eideyeh campaign?

    Tinker: Shucks Tinker , you make me blush 😀
    I hope you had a great Eid too , well I did read you had a great Eid so good.

  8. And to think that it’s only us, Moroccan kids, who develish-ly used the 3eediyyi tradition to get more money on 3eeds. LOL!

    3idkom mobaarak sa3eed, everyone!

  9. Lalla: I think it’s Universal, lol

    Thanks a lot Lalla for your wishes 😀 I hope you had a good eid too!

  10. although I sweared to stop blogging or commenting even ..but frankly speaking this post kept me from my outh thx for bringin back all nice memories with such detailed and exact similarties happy eid for u,baba 7aki and little 7aki…

    this is the greatest post u ever wrote thx for sharing it with us:)

  11. can still tak eher to the EId carnival next Eid.they hold the event on both Eids…this years was apparently better because there was live entertainment by The Sound of Reason (the band)…
    funny I just came from a friend’s house who was talking about Eideye when she was a child in Amman…similar story…she concluded her story with the same thing you said earlier…Her mom should’ve watched them more often!
    I am staring to realize how dangerous our Eid adventures in the main highlight of Eid was buying and firing illegal fireworks…SO MUCH FUNNNNN..or as we called them taraatee3

  12. That was an awesome read! Happy to see you have a passion for your granny like I do for mine… God bless them both!

    Happy Eid to you too… your post brought a lot of joyful memories although I am sure my childhood is not as far back as yours LOOOOOOOOOOL

    You read it here first folks: I am the first to say 7aki is old 😛

    May my soul rest in peace

  13. Tiger: Oh my Gosh Tiger what a nice comment.
    I am glad you enjoyed the post.

    Dana: Those fireworks were soooo much fun. One time my brother had fireworks in his short back pocket and I don’t know how but they cot fire and started exploding LOL LOL so they are exploding on his ass and he is running in circles a 100 miles per hour speed…OMG thinking about it makes me laugh so hard.
    I will make sure to take little 7aki to Rogers next 3eid 😀

    KJ: Did you start writing your obituary yet?
    I am not old but mature (am I mature? Lol) Take it back… TAKE IT BAAAAAAAAACK.
    How old are you??? 24? I am only 7 years older 😛

    LOL da7aktny ya Kinan “May my soul rest in peace” LOL

    Glad to see you are back KIDDO 😀

  14. No I am 23… which makes you even older 😛

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