Two times a day, six days a week, something special (according to me) occurs in every neighborhood in this city.
Hundreds of naan and samoon shops make bread for all the citizens in the city every day except on Friday, their holy day. The people here enjoy bread with every meal, and they wait in line twice a day to get it.
I LOVE hot bread right out of the fire oven. Three or four times a week, someone from our family walks to the bread shop and brings home hot bread.
We only go during the evening times; however, one week when Kylie was caring for a neighbors' chickens that ate this certain bread, she and I would get up before dark and go wait in line with all of the ladies. I was half-asleep, but I remember being C.O.L.D.
Thankfully, the bread is hot, and it's so hot, in fact, that it melts parts of the bag they put it in when they hand it to you through the window.
The treat for being the one to volunteer to go buy bread, is that you can snack on it all the way home. Yummy!
When we walk up to the bread shop, it's usually very crowded. On this night, we went very early, before the crowds, because we didn't want bread. We wanted dough to make pizzas, and they are so gracious to sell it to us.
There are two windows.
One for women on the left. One for men on the right.
Karis is at the woman's window.
A lot of "men" don't wait outside. They go into the shop where the men are baking and stand inside to be warm while they wait for their bread. Women never get to do that. I put "men" in quotes because many mothers send their sons to pick up bread for the family. And, if the shop is busy, which it usually is, the men's line is served first.
This is my usual view at the woman's window. It's actually a great time for conversation because the women all stand around waiting in a huddle.
What you can't see is a bungee cord attached to the cabinet in front of both gender windows. When you walk up, you take your money, roll it up, and put it in line under the bungee cord behind whatever money is already there. When hot bread comes out, the workers will come up and ask whose money is next and how much bread they need.
The men inside are working hard and have been for some time at this point.
And they do this TWICE a day!
They have EARLY mornings, just like a bakery or doughnut shop.
All of those wooden trays are full of dough, pre-shaped for baking.
Then, one-by-one, each tray is lifted up, and the dough is transferred one-by-one onto a long, wooden paddle, brushed with oil, sprinkled with sesame seeds, and shoved into the brick oven.
Then, the baker takes his empty paddle and slides it under a line of bread that is already cooked and ready to come out. He slides them off into the big box, and the circle of bread continues.
**Note: For those of you who call or facetime or skype us, we are now only 8 hours ahead of you instead of 9. Happy Daylight Savings day!