Sari Ellen

Of Pita and Passion

Walking by a Tel Aviv food stand at 9 pm tonight I realized I was starving, angry, disappointed, lonely, worried about world events, exhausted…. and cold.

So despite the way the shekel is clobbering the dollar — which reduces my formerly abysmal income (as I mostly earn dollars) to the equivalent of a thimbleful of fluff— I decided to splurge.

I asked for whatever it was the guy before me had ordered—mystery protein smothered by the ubiquitous over-indulgence of tasty, high calorie, colorful sauce which characterizes all the best pita pocket food of this region.

I waited as the short order cook changed the volume on his Mizrahi music from loud to astounding, then greased up his BBQ to whip something up.

Like every other non-American food service professional I’ve ever met the cook didn’t believe me when I insisted I could handle hot sauce. Gave me the usual skeptical look and mild flavor.

Seriously my fellow “Anglos” (the name, here, for anyone and everyone whose first language is English), we need to up our hot sauce game. The “non-Anglo” condescension re: our inability to handle intensity and complexity must end!! Might help if we all pushed ourselves to more creatively and effectively handle intensity and complexity… to tackle the very real problems we have.

After I finished I was still hungry. Still worried about climate chaos, inequality, injustice, the COVID pandemic, etc. Still lonely. But I didn’t mind as much being cold. And it was gorgeous to have shaken things up.

Gave me hope.

About the Author
Sari Ellen's writing appears in the New York Times, Beloit Fiction Journal, Blue Lake Review, So It Goes, Satirist, Daily Freier, Ilanot Review, Huffpo Canada and in other webzines and journals. The first chapter of her (not yet published) novel is in the November 2020 "Woven Tale Press."
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