Thursday, October 11, 2007

El Balakounah!

El Balakounah! It is an Italian word we use – as with many other words in our daily dialect: terso, secondo, robabieka (old junk) premos, prema, and so on…
Sometimes the family convert it into a room, or use it as a storing place, because Egyptians are not used to throwing out old things. It is also a place where you can have fun observing what is happening underneath in the street. or alternatively, you talk with the neighbors, gossiping and plotting or just exchanging information!
Before the widespread ownership of refrigerators, it was very common and elegant also to buy mud pots for water: a “Qullah” to cool the water especially in the summer by putting it in the Balakounah and covering it after putting inside ne’na (mint) or lemon so the water has a refreshing taste!
This chair - did somebody put it there as a secret sign!? Or did somebody clean the floor and forget to put it back?!
Never the less it is typical scene from an Egyptian Balakounah!

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