by Kathy Davis
My daughter was seven years old during our second trip to Beirut. It was exciting to see the reconstruction since the civil war and recovery of this gleaming jewel of a paradise that at one time was ancient Phoenicia. Lunch was served high above the city in a mirrored dining room with a beautifully set table and the Mediterranean shimmering in the distance dotted by the coastline of sherbert colored Byzantine/Roman architecture of old Beirut. Lebanese cuisine is one of my very favorite in life,but nothing could prepare me for what was served for lunch. There was something that resembled chicken m'nuggets but was not.I inquired as to what it was and was told that the specialty was deep fried lamb testicules and lamb brains. I did not have the heart to tell my little girl who was half Lebanese what she had been eating, but she did seem to be eating a lot of french fries too!
When lunch was finished and I helped her out of the beautifully polished formal chair, I saw that my daughter had been discreetly throwing her portion of fried lamb testicules and brains under her chair and on the exquisite Oriental carpet. She had been able to socialize and seem to enjoy what she was eating, and all of the while not offend the hostess and had simply thrown the unwanted parts of the lunch under her chair!
My daughter was a clever seven year old and knew how not to bring displeasure to our hostess! I learned quickly that I could profit by learning the wisdom of some of my daughter's approach to being non confrontational and maintaining a convivial approach to socializing. I have so many myriad stories to share of Beirut, and I will, but another time.