A bad tragicomedy absurdist play in a tired half an act.
Spotlight on a family of three at center stage.
Son (pirouetting in excitement): So this is Hashim! WOW! So Originale.
Mom (fake excitement): So how do they make that falafel thingie? What’s the difference between regular and stuffed falafel?
Dad: You ask them. You know my Arabic is not hundred percent yet.
Spotlight moves to a corner of the stage. Four teenagers in designer clothes playing cards. One is wearing black sunglasses and another has a lip ring.
Teen1: Yo, man What you say we hit that Hummus and Fool place downtown after this next round.
Teen2: HASHIM? Are you out of your fucking mind.
Teen3: I heard about that place.
Teen1: What’s wrong with Hashim? That would be so cool dude!
Teen2: Walak, its too risky. It is full of low-lifes and “7afartal”. It is not safe, man. I am not even sure how clean the food is.
Teen4: I am in. I am not even scared. I’ve been to “El Balad” TWICE before. I can handle it.
Teen3: Come on dude. We can tell everybody at school about the adventure. I swear it may even make the eight o'clock news. (giggles)
Teen2: No fuck it. I am not even hungry. I will join next time…If you guys ever come back.
Spotlight back to center stage. (Kenny G music playing). A group of people is gathered around the casually dinning family. The crowd which is slightly outside of the spotlight is whispering in shock and excitement, pointing fingers, and keeping their distance. Three waiters are continuously running in and out of the spotlight, adding more plates. A journalist is taking notes, and conducting brief mute interviews in the shadows of the light.
Spotlight moves to the distant back corner of the stage. Two shaggy looking middle age men are staring down a plate in between them, while they alternate a robotic arm motion from the plate to the mouth, without any facial expressions.
Man1 (mouth full, and without taking his eyes of the plate or stopping his arm motion): So what do you think is going on?
Man2: Tourists, I guess.
Man1: Yeah, I heard they tip well.
Man2: This country is very cheap to them compared to where they come from.
Man1 (disgust look): Does this shit taste different to you? It has like a filthy rosy-jasmine taste to it.
Man2: It tastes exactly like it did all week long and you can quit if you don’t like it. Stop distracting me with nonsense, you are devouring the whole fucking plate.
(They increase the pace of hands motion).
Spotlight back to center stage. (circus music playing). The family is still enjoying the meal. Pointing to things in wonder and having a muted discussion about every item before eating it. In the visible shadows of the spotlight stands a poet reading from a long paper roll in almost muffed incomprehensible gibberish. The journalist is now wearing a fake red nose and juggling three balls. A clown is circling around the table on a unicycle.
Spotlight moves to the other corner of the stage. A mid-twenties lady in a pair of denim pants and a white T-shirt sitting against a wall, typing on her laptop.
Lady: Dear diary, I went downtown today. It was fascinating. The people, the shops, the movement, the colors. I even got to pass by HASHIM. Just amazing. I got a feeling like I am not really from here. After years I finally experienced El-Balad.
Spotlight back to center stage. The family is getting ready to leave.
Son (excited): Really, Wow dad. That was some experience. Where are you taking us next?
Mom (suddenly irritated by something she just noticed): I hope it is somewhere your Dad won’t need to wear that ugly vest. Look how many pockets it has! Do you really have to wear it on top of your shirt?
Dad (rolling his eyes): We are going to