Monday, October 22, 2012

A taste of summer

In my mind nothing says summer like a crepe banane chocolat - read nutella. Growing up, I looked forward to the weekends when my mom would take us to the beach to spend the day. The whole day! We would head over there just after 8am to beat the weekend traffic and stay until close to sunset. More often than not, though, we did get stuck in the evening traffic heading back; guess everyone used to have the same idea about what is a good time to leave the beach!

We would stop for a mankoushe on the way there, or, if we did not have enough time, we would eat sandwiches in the car. Sometimes, mom even brought lunch and drinks from home. But on days that she was feeling like giving us an extra treat, we would lunch from the snack bar. And if she wanted to make our day even more special, we would be allowed a crepe banane chocolat as a mid-afternoon snack.

With cash in hand, we would hurry over to the crepe counter, place the order, watch and wait. The smooth, cream colored batter would flow carefully out of a ladle onto a hot, round, black surface to cook. Once turned over, the cooked side was  then smothered with the wondrous hazelnut chocolate concoction and sliced bananas, and for a little extra cash you could get sprinkles of chopped almonds too. A few minutes later the round dessert got folded into a square shape and hoisted neatly onto a paper plate transformed from a flat circle into a concical carrying case.

As kids, we thought the plates were a waste for once the slice of heaven was in our hands, it barely lasted a few minutes. Other than protecting our hands from the grease and the heat, it really did nothing to protect the crepe from our teeth; if that was ever the plan for the plate in the first place. By the time we got back to our beach towels, all we had to show for where we were would be chocolate covered lips, and a belly.

Both the summer days and childhood days are now long gone. All that remains are a few pictures and a lot of memories. Stories woven around a time filled innocence and joy in the ordinary, every day. Stories based in reality, but distorted by time gone by. A past romanticised, good times exaggerated, details forgotten. Still, it brings smiles, nostalgia, and flutters. Some days I want to just be back, be transported in time and place, relive those days. Alas, that surely is not possible. And so, I write about it, and talk about it. One day maybe I can relive it through my young, narrating my stories to them, and weaving new stories with them.

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