We were on our way back home, to the village, and Marzi was behind the wheel. The plan was to get back home before it got dark, but the sun had already set about an hour ago. My grandma recommended this thermal pool near by, three hours away. So we decided to take a daytrip, enjoy the landscape and relax in the hot pool. It was the perfect idea, and the views were priceless. Mom was taking the backseat.
We weren’t hungry, it must’ve been for the weather, and that we were surrounded by new tastes and smells. I had an urgent craving for Ash-e Dugh. It’s some type of traditional soup with wheat and chick peas and yogurt drink. You can add meat if you want to, and some garlic for taste, but I’m not sure which green herbs they put in; I need to ask my mom some day. We should’ve traveled all the way to Astara to have a bowl of the real deal; I once ate this soup there when I was very young; can still taste its sourness in my mouth. We couldn’t travel to Astara, but lucky for us, this neighboring town also had a reputation for its hearty Ash-e Dugh. We took a half tour around the town to see if we could find any restaurants, or some kind of buffet which served the soup. There was none, and it was late enough to make us give up. We’ll have it another time, another day, we promised ourselves, although there was a chance it might never happen again.
“Oh, look!” Marzi pointed to a small store on the side of the road. Hey! I said out loud and excited. “Ash-e Dugh” the sign read in bold letters. We weren’t out of the territories of that town yet–the mission was accomplished! A delicious soup started to steam in front of my eyes. The three of us were overwhelmed and joyful for we found what we looked for just as we gave up. Ironic, in a way.
It was a small store with a smaller kitchen. I thought we needed to eat outside; there were tables and chairs. It was a bit chilly and windy–not the best weather, you see! But then, just as I walked closer, I realized that there’s another space inside. And there actually was a room at the back with tables and chair and napkins. Just the perfect place to enjoy the food!
The chairs were set by the walls, facing the small room, at these three long narrow tables which were surrounding the room all around. So, we sat at the table on the left. There were two other men at the other table; they were local. Seemed like a good design to me. This way, every customer would face the room and the green plant in the middle. People could even have a casual conversation with one another and with the owner of the place who seemed to be the friendliest man on earth. Isn’t that just nice?! The corners of the room were occupied by a couple of vases holding fresh plants and flowers. I didn’t notice them until mom commented on their naive and simple beauty.
Mom had ordered before we entered, and now we were waiting. “Feels like we’re in a classroom,” I said to Marzi. She agreed and we laughed. What a comfortable place, I thought to myself. I could sit there forever. Who would’ve thought?!
We had our soups with such great appetite, as if we were starving to death and hadn’t eaten anything for hours. And we weren’t even hungry. It was delicious! I ate mine so slowly, to get the full taste of every spoon; I finished last! I’ll make sure to take there once you visit.
26.Apr.17 – Ahar, Iran