by Wallace Kaufman
The tea ceremony is called Attaya. The first round is strong and bitter, the second sweeter with a hint of mint, and the third round is sweet and minty. It mirrors friendship, which grows over time to reflect how the longer we know each other the sweeter the relationship becomes. What happens most during Attaya, however, is talk. We consume conversation. We talk about the rain, if there is any, the wind, which is more common, and the oppressive sun. And the villagers return to their natural spaces, rest or sleep peacefully. I leave the fire wondering if I had enough materials to tunnel to Mauritania. I just can’t sleep.