I can't believe they call *that* rain.
The day naturally started off with me waking at 1pm ish. My sleeping patterns are non existent, but seeing that all the other iraqis around me also have insomnia and a general inability to sleep normally, I realised its because no one knows what this year will bring.
I sit at the pc now, chatting as well as typing. In the UK, i remember distinctly not seeing the point of chat. People would have arguments over chat, and not speak the next day etc etc, and i would think "cowards, talk in real life". But, in Iraq, chat is now more common to me, . My friends from when i lived here constantly bombard me with questions over the choices i now have ahead of me, and i am beginning to see the use of the invisibility mode. My friends from the UK ask me such questions as "do you hear the bombings of afghanistan from baghdad?", and "so, are you speaking in islam, and not english now?". I try to explain that afghanistan is not a neighbour to iraq, and islam is a religion, and the reply i get: "so, how are the boys then?". Invisibility goes on, and i remind myself to send them an email apologising for the bad connections...(they are bad, so really i'm not lying).
On a better note, mobile connection seems to have improved a lot, and since having managed to convince iraqna guys to give me free mobile internet after 9pm, the world doesnt seem such a bad place after all.
Sorry for sidetracking, basically, i awoke from my sleep, found we had male guests, who sat in the tv room discussing voting, corruption, and society. So no tv for touta. After wandering aimlessly around the house, occasionally picking arguments with my little sister for no apparent reason, other than i was bored, my grandmother came with bags of food, and suggested me and my sister start to learn how to cook something that was not microwaveable.
LESSON 1: Never say no to your nana when she is holding the knife
I have no idea why we were learning how to make trifle. i expected something more along the lines of 'how to boil an egg' or even 'how to fry an egg' if we were being adventerous.
My nana ripped open bags of jelly, custard and other things with a grossly oversized knife. Ah, baghdadiy women.
LESSON 2: jelly=hot water+ jelly powder. Its not hard(!)
I read the instructions on the jelly packet, and added how much boiling water it said. It smelt good. While waiting for it to cool, i threw some fruit into a galss trifle bowl. No one was impressed. I'm supposed to arrange it nicely. Fast forward 5 minutes, and i have managed to arrange the fruit 'nicely' in the glass bowl. Its a shame the fruit is now more of a puree though. In my annoyance i accidently pressed the fruit down into the bowl a bit too viciously, and it resembles goo.
Suddenly I hear a loud CRACK, then a shattering sound. We all jump, but my sister remains unmoved as she says "Uh oh". I giggle uncontrollably as i realise my sister has placed boiling hot jelly in the glass bowl. The glass bowl has cracked and shattered. My mother walks around looking for a broom, while my nana tries to make me stop giggling because it is 'ayb' and might offend the guests.
Lesson 3: Curdling the Custard
My sister has stolen half my jelly, but thankfully i stopped her from messing up my 'nice' arrangement of fruit in the glass bowl.
Me and my sister are each given a packet of custard powder and milk. Read instructions. Argue with sister over measuring jug, then place everything on the cooker. We are specifically told to never stop stirring.
Fifteen minutes later...My sister has burnt her custard and doesn't have the guts to tell anyone or do anything. I stand next to her supressing giggles. I look down and realise my custard is still thinner than water. Its on full heat.
I have a stroke of genius, and tell my sister to mix her overly thick custard with my overly thin one. We are trying our best not to laugh so they don't find out. I can feel my lips hurting as I bite them down to stop bursting from laughter. Behind us, my nana is telling my mother how its not our fault, since we have been to busy with out 'intensive education'.
LESSON 4: Making Weep
We each silently pour our custard in bowls on top of jelly. Next its time to make the cream whip. (pronounced weep). We mix and mix viciously as mama and nana say ''ala kaefkoum'' (translation-kind of like carefully). Mine goes well, and i smooth it over the custard, and add little decoration things. My sisters is runny, and she has eaten most of her decoration things. A silent battle follows of me trying to get my decorations back from my sister. We turn our backs to our judges and use our eyes to give threatening looks to each other.
LESSON 5: Tidy Touta
After putting glass bowls in the fridge, we have to clean up our mess. My sister politely asks if we can have the kitchen emptied so she can tidy. I am in charge of dishes. I start listening to my mp3 and using an obscene amount of washing up liquid. What can i say..i like the bubbles. Ten minutes later, my sister is tapping me laughing, i take out the headphones, and it takes 5 minutes until i can understand what she is saying from her laughter. I was making so much clattering, that the guests had been wondering if there was fighting. I turn around and spy on them in th tv room. They have gotten up, and are looking through the window. Oops.
LESSON 6: It tastes like burn
My stroke of genius was not so clever it seems. By mixing my sisters custard with mine, my custard now tastes of burnt. When i didnt burn it.
Well, at least mine looks good.
I have also learnt to cook with my sister. It makes me look so much better by comparison. :D
An hour later, as we all sit around the table, with abandoned bowls of trifle, my mama says "its probably cheaper to buy it ready made anyway".