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One time in 1998 I was invited by my girlfriend’s parents to have lunch in a fancy Italian restaurant. They ordered fish and were going at it with forks and knives like professional surgeons, which they weren’t.

You see, I’m not good with a fork and knife. I’m what the colonizers would have called “a savage”. So, I looked for something to order that I could eat with a spoon.

I ordered a risotto thinking I had outsmarted the menu. But the risotto arrived with a. fork. I barely touched it (the risotto). Told them I was suddenly feeling nauseous and maybe I was pregnant. Tough crowd.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: I now carry a spoon with me wherever I go. You can’t trust restaurants.

Pool boy

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When I was eight years old, I watched an episode of “الأميرة ياقوت” in which Yaqout is on a boat in the middle of the ocean. We see this from a bird’s eye view, and below the boat is a shadow of a giant stingray.

That scene haunts me to this day. I don’t like the sea because of the shadows. I prefer swimming pools, except, of course, at night.

You see, in the same year, I was watching a movie with my parents. I don’t know why they let me watch it. I don’t remember the name of it or anything, but there’s a scene in which someone slips a crocodile into the swimming pool to murder a girl swimming at night. She escaped at the last moment, as they always do.

I realize that I’m quite impressionable, and my childhood has provided my imagination with enough ammunition to intimidate me for the rest of my life.

Anyway, sea or pool? Pool. In the daytime strictly.