A few weeks ago I had such a great experience having dinner at a Saudi Arabian friend’s house. There’s a group of Saudi Arabian guys in my neighborhood who all study at university’s nearby. I run into them quite often, and one day my neighbor Ivan and I were invited over to their apartment for an authentic Saudi Arabian dinner. Ivan’s parents were also in town visiting him from New York so they joined us. When we arrived, there were four Saudi Arabian guys and one Korean girl. Ivan’s dad is from Dominican Republic and his mom is from Puerto Rico, so we had a good mix of cultures and languages which was pretty amazing.
Dinner was amazingly good and also overwhelming. It was such a cool experience. They put down huge piece of plastic over the carpet in the living room, and set down two HUGE platters of chicken and rice and a few small plates of salad. The four Saudi guys sharing one plate, and everyone else sharing the second. Our side had eating utensils and their side did not. When it was time to “dig in”, they did just that. After watching the guys using their hands to eat, we ditched our utensils and did the same. It was ridiculously delicious, messy, and fun. I’ve never eaten rice with my hands before. After dinner we had some delicious Arabian peppermint tea, and shared more stories from our various cultures. It was a very fun and unique evening, and I hope we get to do it again soon!