His thoughts return to the whole camel stuffed with sheep laden with chickens puffed up with whole eggs,
dates and figs. He remembers the rice soaked in fresh milk, perfumed with cardamom, roughened by pistachios. He returns to the scene of diners squatting over the roasted feast, that’s eventually washed down
with baclava and brewed Arabian coffee in demitasse. He’s been eight years there, he says, enough time to wonder why the good life is stocked up in the belly of the beast of the desert.