My cousin and I were sitting inside a nice Indian restaurant, waiting for some other friends to join us. Our Balcan conclave was congregating for the last time, since our two lovely visitors were going back home to Montenegro in the evening. So we waited. And waited. And then had some salads. And called them.
-yes, yes – they said – we are just finishing shopping.
Shopping? But they leave today at 6.00 PM and it is already 1.00PM. Who have they forgotten, the aunt of the first cousin’s second wife? Anyway, remembering where we came from as well, and our own shenanigans at the airport check-in counter, we decide to wait and assault the buffet.
Eating with my family is a competition for the Olympics because it usually takes only 5 minutes. No matter where we go, or who we are with, we eat until the plate is empty and the belly is full. (I did not realise how bad this was, until we went to an Italian restaurant for my birthday once, ate, drank, sang happy birthday, and paid all underneath 45 minutes. )
My cousin used to belong to the “Clean Dishes Association” when she was a child. The only condition to belong was to have such a clean plate by the end of the meal, that mom did not have to wash it. As for me, the hardest thing I had to learn here was to leave food on the plate, and not eat it all. But too late, my belly was already expanded. Also, my father was a military officer, so I had to finish in 15 minutes, or the meal was taken away. Which, I assure you, never happened.
So we eat, and dessert time comes. This restaurant offers only a couple of things for lunch hour, some strange cheese balls in milk, that my cousin swears taste like toothpaste crossed with antibiotics, and some other balls which are sweet, tender and succulent. the problem is, only the white balls are self-serve and we have to request the other ones.
Here is where it becomes tricky, we can never remember the name. We asked the waiters twice before but still have forgotten. So we try to describe them, but a bit (khe-khe) delicately. Because, they are round, and brown and succulent, and tender and served in couples.
-You ask – my cousin tells me- Come on, I get embarrased and my English becomes bad.
Oh well, what else is there to do?
-Excuse me. – I ask the waiter -Can we have the other dessert? The one you have not brought out?
-Which one is that, madam? -the polite Indian asks me back
-You know, the brown ones that are small, and round and? – I lose my confidence as the waiter gets ready to ask further clarifying details and his glasses twinkle in the light.
-The round ones in syryp -my helpful cousin interferes and cups her hand with the shape. Yeah right, like that is better explanation than mine! My face red with embarrasment, all I can think of is the waiter starting to unzip his paints and saying…
-Aha -says the waiter,- I know what you are talking about. Of course, I’ll bring you a portion each.
And bring them he does, each plate containing two soft brown balls marinating in sweet thick syryp, tempting us and taunting us. We giggle like two immature school girls, then dig in. Our friends chose to show up at exactly this time, and in the hurly-burly of the conversation, we forget to ask their names again.
My cousin asks on the drive back:
-So how do you like the Kamasutra balls?
-Huh? – I say. – Is that what they are called. Oh man, those Indians are really making fun of us. And they serve them two at a plate too. How am I going to ask for Kamasutra balls next time?
-There is worse, -she says – They might serve them with a banana.
She laughs, and I realize she is putting me on. Kamasutra balls indeed!