|The grounds of the Maillot hospital, Bab El Oued|
I also discovered that my husband’s family didn’t always know where I could find some of the foods to which I was accustomed. I was told that you couldn’t buy cheddar cheese, and, when I found it in a small supermarket not too far from my mother-in-law’s I realized that it was up to myself to look around and see what I could find. To be honest, if someone in England asked me where they could find the proper couscous (not the pathetic imitation boil-in-a-bag that no self respecting Algerian woman would allow to cross the threshold of her home), I would not have been able to help them as I only cooked it rarely and when I did it was whatever I had brought back from Algeria with me. So if they didn’t cook with or use it they would not necessarily know where to find it. But you had to love these people who thought nothing of days and days of torrential rain, but just rolled up their trouser legs and walked in the pools of water in their flip-flops, and how could you not love them when you saw children walking to the shops in the morning in their pyjamas, and young men who thought nothing of popping out to the shops in their sister’s neon pink flip-flops.
|A street in Bab El Oued, Algiers|