‘We eat nothing but sugar on Fridays’

It’s Friday morning – so the beginning of the Islamic week-end. The streets of Algiers are empty, and the architecture is mine to explore.

But first, I need breakfast. Here the city’s repose is not on my side. Everything is closed, even along the capital’s historic shopping street: Rue Didouche Mourad. As I begin to despair, I stumble across Cafe Eddy:

‘Salaam’Alekuum’ – Hello

‘Maalekuum’Salaam’ – Hello

‘Un sandwich s’il vous plait’

‘Il n’y a pas’ – There aren’t any

‘OK, qu’est-ce qu’il y a?’ – OK, what is there?

‘Que des sucres, pas de sales – c’est le vendredi’ – Only sweet things, no savoury – it’s Friday

‘Don’t les Musulmanes sont des diabetes chaque week-end?’ – So Muslims are diabetic every weekend?

‘Exactement, c’est le week-end, on peut profiter’ – Exactly, it’s the weekend to enjoy!

We laugh together, and I decide to be an honorary weekend Muslim by ordering an apple pie and a pain au chocolat for breakfast, served with a perfect little coffee.

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