Joshua is currently in Addis Ababa.I had written a post about it.It can be found at-Joshua in Addis Ababa.
Now, a few of his office friends are currently at vacation in Ethiopia, as they were touring the African Continent. Through one of their colleagues, at their Philadelphia office, they came to know that Joshua is currently not taking up any freelance jobs and that he was in Addis Ababa.
Their joy was over the bounds, they thought that at least, they would be able to have authentic home food.So, they called up Joshua and asked him whether they could come over at his house, so that they all could meet up and have a nice home cooked meal.
Joshua told them that his sister was ill and he had to take care of his sister and in a hushed voice he told them-“My sister’s cooking is getting worse day by day and secretly I am hoping that, I too can have food which is not made by sister. So, please don’t come over”
His friends were very disappointed, but they understood the situation. Then they decided to rent a guest house, which had many facilities in it.
After, two days they invited Joshua for dinner and they promised him nice food and a mango pina colada.
Joshua told his sister, that he was going to meet his friends and he would comeback home by eight at night.
He went to the guest house and was greeted and hugged by friends.
After a bit of chit-chat, they all decided to have dinner.
When dinner was served to him by his friend Astropher, he saw there was chowmein fried crisply with potato slices, topped with peri-peri and on the side was a bowl full of salted fries of bitter gourd. He had forgotten to make the mango-pina colada, as he was already tired, after cooking only that much.
Joshua looked at Astropher and asked him what had he made?
Astropher replied-“I did my best. There is chowmein fried to the core,crisply, with potato slices and bitter gourd fries for all of our good health.”
Joshua was still looking at his plate in disdain and so were his other friends.
What happened was that, his friends didn’t want to eat outside food anymore, on their vacation of the African Continent,because in the first leg of their tour they had suffered from very bad cases of diarrhea, so they had rented that guest house, which also had cooking facilities available.
Incidentally, this was the first time, that any one of them had prepared dinner and the last two days they were having hotel food.Basically, none of them knew how to cook and they took the help of the internet to prepare the dinner.
Joshua’s friends were consisted of Astropher, Smith, Mary, Jeanne and Brita and none of them could cook a meal. So, very boldly Astropher, decided to cook the meals and this was the third day that he was cooking.
Joshua, hadn’t known all of this, so without much caring he started digging into his food.
He started with the crispy chowmein, and ate them munchingly, making noise, and with gusto he was eating. Seeing him eat with such gusto, his other friends started having their food, except Astropher. Joshua said-“This chowmein is nice.Well done, Astropher.”Astropher gave him a thumbs up. He was standing a bit far away from the dining table. Jeanne asked him-“Why don’t you start eating Astropher?”
He replied-“In case you all need more food. There’s more in the kitchen.I will eat after you all have finished eating.”
Joshua had finished half of his chowmein, and started for the potato slice.
Having a single bite of potato slice, he started shouting-“Cold Water! Cold Water!”.
Smith handed him a glass of cold water.
Joshua was then spluttering and coughing.
Suddenly, Jeanne and Mary had started shouting in their high pitch voices-“water! water!”.
Smith had a very small bite of the sliced potato and started shouting at Astropher- “Astropher, you cheat, you rascal, you flounderer, does anybody, add this much peri-peri? Are you completely insane?”
Astropher-“sorry friends, it happened by accident.”
Brita was the only person who hadn’t had the potato and she suddenly had a realization.
“You knew that potato slice would be so hot, because you had drenched them in that Mexican peri-peri powder, that we had brought at the supermarket, yesterday.Didn’t you?”
“I had an inkling about it.”-Astropher.
Except Brita, all were coughing and blowing their noses, as the peri-peri powder was really very hot to handle.
Brita-“I think, that you had more than an inkling.You knew that the potato would be super hot, that is the reason why, you didn’t sit down to have dinner with us!”
Astropher-“I wanted to see what all your reactions would be after eating it, so I waited.Swear to God.”
Jeanne-“What do you mean, that you waited for our reactions? You cheat.”
Astropher-“That’s enough, I haven’t cheated. I had simply decided to forgo the information about the peri-peri, to you all.I am sorry and to make it upto you all, I will also have the chowmein and the potato”.
He then started chomping the chowmein and in between he had the bitter gourd slices and in front of his surprised friends he finished all of the bitter gourd slices.then he drank water and he declared-“see, I had my meal, without a fuss.How silly you people are!”
Saying so, he was about to get up, when Brita told him, “you hadn’t had the potatoes yet.”
Astropher-“I didn’t? Oh! how silly of me.I will just have one potato slice,as my tummy is full”.
After this, he picked up a potato slice, but while doing so his hands were shaking.
He ate a small piece of that potato sliced and started jumping up and down.He was screaming-“water, water, water” and tears were rolling down his eyes.
Mary gave him the jug of water and he gulped all of it down.
“I am sorry. I am extremely sorry. I will never ever cook again.”
He sat down on his chair and started panting.
After fifteen minutes or so, when everything had cooled down, Smith decided that they all should go to the ice-cream shop, which was situated inside the guest house compound.
They all went there and had four big scoops of ice cream.While having his ice cream, Astropher, repeatedly told-I will never ever cook and I am sorry.”
Joshua-“Guys, I am sorry.I didn’t know, that all of your cooking situation was so bad. The truth be told, my sis cooks a million times better than this, but I am fool, that I hadn’t realized it before.You guys just wait a minute, I will ask her of you all can come over for dinner everynight, at her house.By the ways how many days are you all staying here at Addis Ababa?”
Mary-“Five more days.”
Joshua called up his sister-“Hey, sis, can my friends come over for dinner every night, for the next five days.They are all in a soupy situation, regarding dinner.”
Madeline ( his sister)-“Yes, they can come.Maybe seeing a few good faces, other than yours can heal me quickly.”
Joshua, in a low voice-“Sis, there is nothing wrong with my face.”
Madeline-“Have you looked at yourself in the mirror, Mr.Freelance? You look like a lost person.Who doesn’t know where to go.Be it Morocco or Ethiopia.”
Joshua-“Not again, sis.I will let my friends know.Bye”.
Joshua-“Yes, you all can home for dinner, everynight.”
The whole table erupted in enormous cheering and clapping.Suddenly Joshua was hugged very tightly by somebody and that person was sobbing on his shoulders.
Can you guess who it was. He was none other than Astropher.
Sobbingly, he said-“Joshua, my friend, thank you, you are a life saver.I will never forget this benevolence of yours.I am indebted to you.I will tell you a secret.But don’t tell it to anyone”.
Joshua-“What is it?”
Astropher-“I can’t cook! I add this and that and make up whatever I can”.
Joshua started laughing and said-“its’ alright my friend. Don’t you worry.Your secret is very safe with me.”
He bade them all goodbye at seven thirty in the evening and went straight home.
He entered his sister’s home and started shouting-“Sis, I am hungry. Please give me something to eat.”
His sister came in front of him and imitated him-“my sister’s cooking is getting worse day by day!”.
Joshua, red in his face-“Oh! you had heard me?”
Sister-“Every bit of it.”
J-“I am sorry, sis.”
M-“Sorry won’t cut it. You shall have your dinner, but it will be a surprise.”
J, anxiously-“What surprise?”
M-“You just wait and watch”.
After fifteen minutes, she called him to have his dinner. When he came to have his dinner, he saw that his plate was covered with a lid.When he opened it, he saw that it was full of bitter gourd.He understood the surprise, which his sister had meant.
Without making a noise, with a grumpy face, he slowly started eating the bitter gourd.
After watching him eat ten slices of bitter gourd, his sister came and took away the plate full of bitter gourds away from him and instead served him Macaroni and cheese, a plate of brown risotto and vanilla ice cream.
Joshua was stunned. He exclaimed-“Sis! God exists! What have I done, to get such a wonderful and beautiful meal from your hands?”
Sis-“Enough, of this nonsense.I know my cooking is not upto the mark, as Mom’s, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t cook.”
J-“What about those bitter gourd slices?”
M-“What about them?”
J-“Who will eat them?I thought surely you had made them for me!”
His sister smilingly told him-“What do you think I am? I am a doctor, by profession and it is my duty to look after my patients and you are my little brother and I love you.”
She gave a hug and then she said-“Those bitter gourds are for me.”
Hearing this Joshua was staring at her, as if she was a mad person.
He told her-“Are you gone bonkers?”
His sister-“No, Mr.Freelance dumbhead, bitter gourd is very good for health, that is the reason why I am having them.Maybe later on, I would have a bowl of nourishing chicken soup.Now you have your dinner, I will and go look after Jeremy.”
Thanking Lord Almighty, that he had got a decent dinner that night, he started gobbling up his meal.
Now his friends are dreaming of the good and nice dinner,that they would get when they visit his house.