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Freedom as we take for granted in Europe

To end this Saturday early I decided to invite myself to an Indian dinner in the middle of Carl Johan.

Yes I'd be with my selv on the same table but I'll be able to join the passers by with their curious eyes and busy minds.. the waiter took me to a table by the window of course to show people that this restaurant is busy but he didn't know that the inheritance is still heavy on me.

He walked before me and I froze when he was heading to the that sole table by the window. I'd feel privileged to have it there. He said it is much nicer by the window! More alive! Zen music was playing smoothly in the whole place.. and I'm gone for a second with it yet my heavy inheritance brought me back to reality and to the table by the window ...

Years and years in Saudi Arabia went back doors and back windows. To go to a restaurant there those days was exactly as having food home; not the taste but the separation and walls.

They are so smart to decorate the place by lovely walls so that each family would have their own table completely isolated and hidden from the rest of the world. No woman has to eat in front of strange men. We were going under the niqab deprived of the joy of enjoying an ice cream in summer or a baguette when we are hungry.

Zen continued to play and all memories in my invisible back bag is grounding me..

The waiter was still waiting by the window directing me to the table by the window. 'We have other places downstairs if you like but it is crowded', he said.

I moved to the table by the window and sat.. I was just by the street.. ordered and waited.. then the food came and for a moment I hesitated to start.. not that I don't eat out alone but just to eat alone in a so exposed place was not so familiar yet.. my food and a glass of wine was calling me secretly, zen was still playing dragging me to the times when I used to listening to it secretly simply because music is forbidden.. and especially this kind of music..

I used to wonder about levels in the forbidden world.. what would make a kind of music more forbidden than any other!!

Still enjoying my meal and still the restaurant is empty apart from a deaf couple who joined next to my table.. their sign language is but an expression of the zen music in the atmosphere.. silence!!

Maya Al Saud

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