Monday, August 14, 2006

Taste of Calgary

P. M. came to my place yesterday afternoon and we went to Marda Loop for a kind of street festival. There were Cuban dancing, beach volleyball, live music, arts and crafts and other fun as well. What caught my eye and was very interesting to me were a few guys dressed like Star Wars characters! There were Dart Wader, Luke Skywalker, an Imperial Soldier and others as well which I couldn’t recall what exactly they are. They were actually advertising for a comic store in the city called Comic-Kazi!
Gloria, a friend of P. M., was there and actually that was her who had called P. M. and told about this festival. She was with two old girlfriends of hers. P. M. and Gloria work for the same construction company. She’s an average-looking girl in her mid 30s and a little crazy! I’ll tell you what she did later.
We left there at about 05:00 as that was the end of the show and headed to Eau Clare Market for Taste of Calgary. It’s a food and beverage show which was held for the 10th time in Calgary but that was my first time. Different restaurants offer samples but not free. You have to buy tickets and there’s also live music and crafts like everywhere as well. I started with Thai Chicken Salad but I didn’t like the noodle they use in it because it was hard. Gloria kept saying that because the salad is served cold, the noodle is hard but that’s not an excuse in my view. P. M., at the beginning didn’t want to spend money but then at the end he bought some. I bought 20 for $15. A good sample usually costs you 4 tickets and rarely 5. You can also get things for 3, 2 and 1. For example Starbucks' Pomegranate Frappuccino only costs 1 ticket and is good although it’s a very small cup. I haven't had tried that before we went to the show but that’s not something very special. I guess it’s only pomegranate that makes it special for people here as it’s not a common fruit. It’s very expensive here and hard to come by. I remember I used to buy a few for I guess about $2 each form Safeway last year and that was only for a limited time and I didn’t see that again. It’s because people are not familiar with that here and don’t know how to eat it! But those ones were very good and I guess grown in the California, the US. Anyhow Gloria had too much, even more than me! She liked to try everything but they were both there the day before too! Then Gloria asked me to get Aylan for her and I was wondering what it was. That was a yogurt drink from a Turkish restaurant like what we have in Iran and is called Doogh but that was awful! There was no taste and seemed like someone just added a huge amount of water to a low fat yogurt! Hojam, my friend who’s in Vancouver now makes excellent yogurt drink with homo (3.25%) milk which when you start drinking you don’t wanna stop! They also offered kind of very thin bread with spinach in it, Baklava and some other Turkish cuisine. I looked at the menu but didn’t find the name of the restaurant. Then there was the time for Sushi. I’ve had tried that before but used to by it ready-to-serve form supermarkets. Gloria was very willing and excited to help me to try everything good and she pushed me toward it. There was a small line for good or items which were new to many people. So I stayed in the line with Gloria beside me. I noticed there’s a Canadian girl pushing me from behind. Something I’ve never ever had experienced before in Canada! I thought she was drunk but that was not very likely to happen in there because where alcohol is served is separated by fence from the rest of the exhibition and no one gets drunk in such a place at 07:00 in the afternoon! Besides police patrols the site continuously. So I just ignored her and was listening to a group of Canadian young fella who were describing the items of Sushi dish. You can find friendly and nice Canadian people here everywhere as well as the one who was pushing me. I was listening to them and suddenly Gloria pushed the girl so hard that she got back almost 2 meters! I was kind of shocked especially after she was called bitch by Gloria. She then started apologizing and said she was sorry. I said: well. You should be. You were pushing me from behind. The girl’s bf showed up but nothing happened we paid for the food and I sat on a bench and Gloria started to teach me how to have Sushi! Sushi, a Japanese cuisine has a method to have. But I should emphasize that there are different types of Sushi, just like there’s different types of Pasta. I’m not describing the ingredients and differences here because that, itself, takes a huge post. I’d like to say that Sushi is served with Kombu, which is very hot seaweed and brings the tear out of your eyes. I remember once I bought Sushi from a supermarket and Kombu was included obviously (There’s a very common Sushi available here in supermarkets here and that’s, I think, is a regular one). The seaweed is green obviously and looks like very viscous dough but not sticky. I didn’t know what it is, at the time, and after I tasted it and realized its taste, I thought it’s something like waste left from wrapping the food or something like that!! Anyhow ginger, soy sauce, rice and raw fish are the main ingredients and I leave the whole research to you. Gloria wanted me to try it with chopstick and she was very willing that me enjoy the food. The other thing I tried was Oyster. It’s seafood like Mussel that I had tried before but there’re differences. You squeeze a piece of lemon on it and then slurp it in and chew it up. That’s an expensive food I guess as I paid 3 tickets for just one. Gloria got a dish of Ethiopian food which was basically comprised of baked beans with sauce and flavours like lintel, chickpea, etc with bread. P. M. got the same but he didn’t like the bread. We sat at the table in front of the southern entrance of the market where the booths are located and when they finished and we started looking around the merchandises, fruit flies came over! There were in thousands and everything was covered in a few minutes. Luckily these small insects don’t bite but it’s very unpleasant to feel them all over the body! Gloria bought a pair of pants and tried a belly dancing custom on and finally chocolate mousse was our desert and we sat at the tables in front of the Starbucks stage for a few minutes and watched the live music that was being performed. I guess Gloria wanted to get something to drink but when I mentioned that we ran out of tickets she seemed she didn’t like it and asked us to leave. Actually that was the best thing to do ‘cause there’s no point for sitting at the tables and just watch while beer and liquor is being served and people are enjoying themselves. We then left. Although Gloria is a crazy girl but is a good friend to hang out with especially because she’s not afraid of experimenting and spending money on what she likes. P. M. told me that she got married to an Arab man last year just to make it happen for him to stay in Canada. Seems like they are not close but they live in the same place. P. M. has tried to find out if she’s willing to sleep with her and asked her once how her sex life is and the answer was disgusting. He thinks he can ask her if she wants to sleep with him or not but I think it’s too late. We said goodbye after I dropped her at her place and we’re goin’ to have lobster together in Red Lobster in near future.
(Photo: An imperial soldier pointing his laser gun at me while Luke Skywalker or another Jedi knight poses holding his laser sword. I took this photo in Marda Loop. The soldier later took off his [her!] mask. He [she!] was a very pretty blond girl)

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