Of Ethiopian Food, Intellectual Conversations With Cousins and The Fountain of Youth
Thursday December 30th 2010, 11:47 pm
Filed under: Denver, Family

I slept well last night and well into the late morning. This was a nice change of pace.

Cousins Adam, Amy, Kristina, Ivan and I went out for an extended lunch at Abyssinia Market Cafe Ethiopian Restaurant, one of Adam and Amy’s old haunts. Adam and Amy had taken Roo and I to Abyssinia before they skipped town twoish years ago, but despite liking it a lot, I haven’t been back since. Due to Kristina’s extensive food allergies, there was a lot of worrying on her behalf about whether or not Ethiopian food would be okay for her to eat or if we were just taking her somewhere where the food would make her sick. She assured all of us that she’d be okay and, of course, she was right.

The chef came out of the kitchen several times to discuss with Kristina what she could or couldn’t eat. Instead of vegetable oil (which contains soy, one of her worst allergies), he told us he would prepare our large shared meal with olive oil and he recommend several dishes that would not only taste good but would not make Kristina sick. This was all definitely going that extra mile for a customer. The chef also told Kristina not to eat any of the cooked vegetables because those were prepared in vegetable oil. While she reiterated several times that this was no problem, he went a second extra mile and brought out a salad prepared just for her. Needless to say, we all thought Abyssinia had very impressive service.

The food was just like I remembered it: delicious. Everyone agreed the food was great. It was also cheap, at $15 per person, considering the appetizers and teas and dessert we ordered in addition to our main course. All five of us were very happy we had gone out for Ethiopian food, and specifically to Abyssinia. Highly recommended!

As Adam pointed out, beyond the food, the service, and the cost, there’s something else very alluring about eating at an Ethiopian restaurant: it is slow paced. This isn’t to say the service was slow, rather that in this restaurant, the atmosphere is one of savoring everything, from one’s food to one’s company. We were there for two and a half hours, during which we enjoyed a game of Rummy and lots of stimulating conversation. This laid back atmosphere was probably helped by the snow falling outside. It was warm inside the restaurant, and I’m confident that not wanting to go out into the cold factored into our long conversations–though, the snow was ultimately why we left when we did; there was a lot of it and as much as we liked the place, we didn’t want to get snowed into Abyssinia.

In the hours before we left, though, we talked about religion, about our own experiences with religion and raising kids with religion. We discussed our beliefs and how they factor into our lives. This lead to a fascinating discussion about research recently released about reversing the age of mice. This certainly seems like it has the possibility of becoming the fabled Fountain of Youth, or in this case, the Injection of Youth. People could still die–this drug wouldn’t make anyone immune to cancer or getting hit by a truck–it would just keep people perpetually young. I remember reading an article when I was much younger that speculated that within my lifetime, dying (at least of old age) would become a decision.

We all conceded that society would have to change significantly if there was a drug that could return people to–and keep us at–our age of peak physical and mental fitness. It was interesting to hear everyone’s answer as to whether or not they would take this hypothetical drug if they had the opportunity. My view is that one of the best things about living to old age is acquiring wisdom and perspective. Of course young people have energy and knowledge, but wisdom and perspective can only be gained by experiencing as many things as possible. To be able to combine the energy of youth and the wisdom of age seems, to me, to be the realization of one of the ultimate dreams of mankind. I would love to be able to spend lifetimes just learning everything and then lifetimes just traveling everywhere and lifetimes doing everything. Eventually, I’m sure I’d tire of this mortal coil, but it sure would be neat to extend that eventuality indefinitely.

Everyone made their own good points, such as tiring of having to work for hundreds of years, who would be able to get such a drug, whether we’d still have children and how odd it would seem to have our great-great-grandparents and our great-great grandchildren all alive and all 30 years old. There were ecological, theological, technological and fiscal issues raised. For a hypothetical drug in a hypothetical scenario, people had quite a lot of concerns. I find the whole idea intriguing.

Eventually, we ventured out into the snow, piled into the car, and drove back home.

I’m going to miss these guys.


Now playing: Hypnotic – Balicky Bon
via FoxyTunes

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