My love affair with Shawarma

Every time I eat a shawarma in a laffa I feel the same way before, during and afterwards. Prior to even thinking about eating one you must have gone for several days without substantial quantities of food, and when the idea happens upon your brain, then it is only because your hunger can be compared to that of an African refugee running towards his monthly supply of United Nations rice that is being dropped out of a Red Cross helicopter, while he is being shot at by some Muslim rebels in old pick up trucks.

While ordering it, your eyes bulge out of your head as they shave off the juiciest shawarma from the fiery spit and hopefully enjoin the greasy mess with a pile of steaming onions together on the girdle. Joined with the steaming onions they dump the heart attack inducing blob onto a humus smeared laffa. Your stomach then begins to override your brain that is telling you that your going to regret all that oil from the fried eggplants and peppers, but your stomach does not listen, its only command is PILE, PILE, PILE! And while you are telling your pushy brown sphardi guy behind the counter to load on the chatzilim, the sides of your mouth are collecting drool at all the thoughts of food that might as well be part of some food-porn film.

The brown guy rolls up your feast and filled with joy you return to your table to the oohs and ahs of the people you are eating with who stayed with the safer and tamer falafel in a pita. You begin your attack which simply involves deciding the best time to pour globs of tachina and hamba into your rapidly dwindling shawarma filled ships hull. Every few seconds as if by clockwork your hand reaches for the small plastic cup filled with the white or yellow sauce and dumps its contents onto the unrecognizable mess of meat and veggies.

Halfway through your laffa, your brain tells you that you must stop now or you will surely die of cardiac arrest, but your stomach and heart knows that they can take another pummeling and swallowing of a torrent of sauce and greasy meat tumbles down your esophagus into your stomach, wile your stomach fights to digest and screams overload.

There is always some point in every shawarma journey that is called the point of no return. One must be more then halfway done with their tube and nearing the glorious fountain of sauce at the bottom. Depending on the skill of your laffa roller, one may find a glorious event at the bottom of their laffa of all the shawarma and onion grease mixed with all the veggie and humus type juice that gravitated to the bottom of the mine shaft. If the laffa roller was ashkenazic or just plain old inexperienced you may have noticed that throughout the journey leaks were sprung throughout the laffa and your glorious fountain of sauce that should have been enjoyed at the bottom, was instead deposited onto your tray, table and probably your pants as well.

The after effect of the laffa experience is pretty much the same. Moaning, groaning, clutching of stomach and frequent trips to the toilet are not uncommon, as well as many bouts of severe regret at having ordering or eaten such a large and unhealthy meal. Rarely is there someone who finishes a laffa and does not regret having eaten the whole thing.