As soon as i got outta subway station, i felt an abrupt change in surroundings. The buildings there are distinct frm what i’m used to. They are neat, quiet and exotic. This reminded me of being in the 3rd legation quarter. Moving forward while asking for directions, we bumped into Israel Embassy! It’s consist of a white complex, some with spherical roof and other with extraodinary geometrical shape. As the rain drops tended to become bigger, we reached out for our destination-Bitaepitta, by the help of a phone call to the restaurant.
Bitaepitta located on the right side of Star Bar Road, only several steps frm the U.S and Israel Embassies. I followed other two foreign customers into Bitaepitta and couldn’t help grinnin like a fool enterin the room. An arab-I thought- greeted me-not a bit warm tho-and arranged us seats. He spoke good chinese and said he was indian. Well, indian are mostly arabic I think. Other waiters were all chinese. After ordering, I talked to them and wandered around. Just exactly the same as I saw on the internet, the whole room was lit by warm lights in orange. In the middle were food supplying centre. Many seemingly delucious ‘pittas’ and other snacks were shown in the glass shelves. You can also sit at the long table that enclose the service centre, just like drink in the front bar in a club. In the corner, there were several mags and newspaper like beijinger. I could see some special objects there. A delicate wooden gadget of an israeli board game, a set of arabic cups. The owner of this little restarant is an isreali. Not a strict follower of jewish religion, according to the waiters,who can speak chinese english and easy hebrew. They also showed me their david star necklace that brought by the owner frm israel. I expressed my request to meet the owner,not knowing whether it’s polite or not. I just wanna talk to an israeli and listened to his stories that naturally connected with the dreamy country. To my surprise they gladly promised to arrange, saying it would be okay after he finished his talk on business with some clients.
We chose to sit in front of the window so tht we could enjoy watching the outsiders. Not long afterwards, my juice and tunny cheese pitta came, along with potato chips and vegetabe salad plus tomato jam. Remembering somebudy told me how bland arabic food is, I tried the pitta out. Yet it was definitely a heavy flavour. The smell of fish fused with warm milky flow filled me up. I was never big in pitta, but this time I’d speak highly of this kind. It’ll be nothing without the fabulous fish and cheese inside;while the outer clothes provide a soft and crispy feel tht makes it necessary to be there. The vegetable tasted bit odd at first shot, but gradually I got used to this strange little spicy+ vinegary lettuce and eventually got stuck! The fried chips certainly win over the ones that we already feel bored of in Mcdonald’s or KFC. Oh yes, the soft drink I ordered was grapefruit juice, a proper bitter inside tht stimulated my appetite! But I ate so slowly because I felt full just half way out **. I regret eating too much this morning. One combo contained really much. I should have kept myself hungry like a wolf since I knew the large weight frm the internet earlier. I surely wont make the same mistake next time I go there. My friends’ was vegetable pitta, which include arabic chickpea sauce inside. Her pitta looked quite rich with so many colorful things in it. And she enjoyed the pitta too.
Having finished our lunch, we were bout to pay the bill. One of the waiter asked the owner of Bitaepitta to come. I was treated for shock to be frank lol~ I spoke like being stutter edited and sat down to calm myself down (how could I imagine he will be so easy-going as he was willing to have a little chat with a girl stranger!). this is an old ashkenazi man maybe in his 50, speaking clear american engish. First I expressed my gratitude for this pleasant meal and then asked him bout his experience. He told me he was frm tel aviv and came to china to do business. Worked in a satellite tv company previously and bout 5 or 6years ago he quitted and started runnin this small restaurant. Then I asked him bout israel national holiday. I thought it was 2009–05–14 A.D and wanted to ask if he’ll launch a party there or something. But he corrected my mistake. Actually israel’s national holiday is determined by jewish rural calendar just like our spring festival does! I was amazed really. And so I understood why peres, netanyahu and other leaders delivered their speech so early. Their holiday was in last Wednesday-5th day of the 5th month. Hmmm…thinking of the way people celebrated their independence day-bbq,party,music…-I asked how the owner spend tht day. He said he just watched israeli tv channel thru the internet to feel the celebration atmosphere. I think he love his country frm his heart. After that we also talked bout hebrew learning and my dream to go to israel. When I mentioned the difficulty I met in learning hebrew, as I couldn’t even memorise the alphabet, he started to look thinking something hard and said wait a min. after a while he came back with a book and a dvd package. He pointed at the writer of the book on modern israel literature and said professor zhong is really good at hebrew, I don’t have her phone number at hand, but maybe you can find it out and contact her, she might tell you how to learn it. And then the old man handed the book and dvds to me. He gave it to me as presents. It was just sheer xtc!! I’ve never expected I would be so lucky to not only have a chance to talk to the owner but also receive gift frm him!! This is really some kinda encouragement frm an old man I think. Again I thanked him and left, elated! Still cant believe it was real huh? The impression the old man left to me is relishing. He looked not that kinda warm grandpa, he rarely smiled. But I assume he is warm inside. He explain the national holiday issue very patiently and clearly. And he tried to help a stranger with such generosity. Just no words can reach the depth of my gratitude for him.
I’ll definitely go to Bita
epitta every month I swear! I love the people there. And I do hope I will have a chance to spend a traditional jewish festival there.
p.s-In the afternoon I went to xidan to make my own personalized t-shirt, on which there’re logos and artistic design of israeli flags and national holiday theme. Sweet.