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Shaah Cadeys

August 19, 2011 11 comments

It was a quiet summer evening in the village and it had stopped raining a few hours ago. A nice cool breeze laden with the sweet smell of forest just blew across my face. You could almost taste the smell of palm trees and the river in the distance. You could hear the relaxing sounds of nature; the crickets chirping and frogs croaking in the distance. There was an ant on my table scouting for anything worth calling in the cavalry for. I looked around and saw old men playing mahjong and a young couple enjoying an evening out. There were teenage boys and girls riding their fixie bicycles behind me on the street, each bike having its own unique colors and accessories, each design crying for attention and recognition. A couple of ill-tuned cars rolled in and one of the engines backfired as they idled.

My cellphone started beeping and when I read the message I started laughing to myself. A friend from abroad sent me an inside joke we shared. Could this evening get any better? As I was typing a reply to my friend, the waiter came and placed my cup of tea on the table. As I looked up from my phone screen and reached for the cup of tea, I remembered something that would send me on a trip down memory lane for the next few minutes…

Back in Sudan, 6 of us lived in a flat. Each one of us had a hobby or something we loved to do in our free time. We had the soccer freak who had the latest world soccer rumors before they even hit the news. There was the historian who could tell you your ancestry just by knowing your father’s 3rd name. There was the bookworm, the poet, and the wadaad. Then there was Cadeys, the dude who made our casariyo (afternoon tea).

Although we’d all be pre-occupied with our work during the day, there was a certain time in the afternoon where you’d find us all sitting on the floor of the big room waiting for Cadeys to do what he does best: make cadays (Somali fragrant milk tea with or without spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, etc).

Exam revisions, assignments, projects, Paltalk; whatever anyone of us was occupied with would be put on the back burner and dealt with later.

Tea time with the boys

The brother in question is the one holding the electric kettle. His name is Ahmad, but ever since we assigned each one a day to make casariyo, we would always look forward to his day and one thing led to another and he was called Cadeys. Being the comedian in the group, he’d then proceed to liven up the afternoon and tell us stories that never happened and incidents that may or may not have taken place. Then one of us would start a topic whether it be sports, politics, medicine, Somalia, or space, only to be interrupted by a quip by Cadeys who’d then proceed to make one of us the next victim of his jokes…

As I grabbed the cup of tea and took the first sip, all I could think was how it would never be anything like Somali cadeys…

Not counting Ramadhan of course, do you usually have casariyo? If so, what spices do you add. And being Somali tea…I have to ask…how much sugar do you add?

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