Saturday evening I received the following text on my phone, it was sent by a good friend of mine who is usually responsible for organizing gatherings and occasions for the Libyan community in London:
Please come to the community centre tomorrow at 6pm. This is a very important evening, please pass this message. Thank you.
For the past few years the Libyans here meet at every last Sunday of the month, this meeting became known as the Makarona (Pasta) Meeting, because we usually have Mbakebka (Libyan Pasta Dish) for dinner.
When this dinner gathering started, some used it as an opportunity to meet friends, have a laugh and dinner then play cards in the evening which is fine even though I do not play cards as I can never understand Libyan card games, some hard headed men complained about card playing and so this was stopped, then for a period of about 6 months we had some great lectures given mainly by Libyan intellectuals and some armatures as well about Libyan history, poets and heroes, that was the best period, it was educational, informative and very funny at times, of course it didnt last as some others complained that they didnt want lectures they just wanted to come and eat, so then it just became a Makarona meeting where many would turn up, eat, have a good old GURMA (gossip) then go home, many of us lost interest, I stopped going about a year ago until yesterday that is!!
I was intrigued by the text and was wondering what is so important, what is going on, of course I had a couple of phone calls from friends asking if I had any idea, no I didn't, I phoned my Friend the organizer, no reply!! so of course being inquisitive and like to miss nothing, I got ready and went to the community centre at 5:55pm, first thing I noticed that there were only 3 other people, one of them was preparing the dinner. After about 30 minutes the number went up to about 18 men. I saw my friend the organizer parking his car, I went over with another friend, we asked him what is going on? why are we here? what is the big mystery??
He started to laugh then told us that he had enough of organizing this evening every month and then people do not turn up so he thought if he made it sound mysterious then everyone would turn up, guess what?? his cunning plan backfired! as I said only about 18 men turned up which is a lot less than usual! He admitted that this would probably be the End of Makarona Meetings (sounds like a good title for a book) in fact the cost alone is not worth the bother as in top of the food expenses, rent has to be paid for the community centre. As usual we Libyans here proved that we are so un-united, surprise surprise!
Anyway the Makarona was delicious but it was accompanied by a fantastic culprit that I just could not keep away from, my friends warned me to be careful or I would have a bad tummy evening, I didn't listen, I just could not stop myself from eating it, here is a picture of last night's culprit that upset my tummy: