Eat like an Egyptian: Foul Eskandandy

February 28, 2007

The Joneseseseses family trip to Sharm El Sheikh was delightful. Despite Phil being stung by a “harmless” (so said the locals) jellyfish, we all came home unscathed – some of us browner than others.

We stayed at the Grand Rotana resort and enjoyed a daily breakfast buffet despite a source of great consternation: foul eskandandy.

Now, having conducted some online research, I’ve learned that “foul” refers to beans. Apparently brown fava beans are a staple of the Egyptian diet. However, searches for “foul eskandandy” (and a variety of alternate spellings) have failed me. To this day, we will never know what it was as Mark refused to eat it.

Actually, we only saw one Russian woman eat it. It looked and smelled a bit like chilli – why one would choose this for breakfast I don’t know – but I cannot verify its contents.

Has anyone ever heard of foul eskandandy before? If you’ve actually eaten it, please comment with a detailed description of taste/texture/ingredients… curiosity is killing me!!!


Mark#37 – Rome is Where the Art is

January 29, 2007

I’ve been meaning to post some photos from our honeymoon for a long time now, but it’s always seemed like such a daunting task. Downloading all the pictures to the laptop, organising them into some kind of order, giving each photo a descriptive file name, choosing which ones to put online, uploading them to the blog, writing a boring blog posting to describe the entire process….

But anyway, I’ve finally got around to doing it. Well, kind of. This is sort of a part one of four when it comes to our honeymoon – part two will be Florence, part three will be Venice, and part four will be photos of April and I – so I suppose I’m only really a quarter of the way through.

These are some of my favourite photos that we took in Rome. The Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, St. Peter’s BasilicaVatican City, the Pantheon, Castel Sant’Angleo and the River Tiber are all included.

 Just click on the thumbnails to see the bigger versions.


Mark#25 – Kate & Rich

November 24, 2006

A big shout out to our friends back in Toronto, Kate & Rich! Or, as April refers to them, ‘bizarro April & Mark’, on account of the many eerie similarities in our lives and relationships.

April and Kate both moved to Toronto from different parts of Canada. Standing at a similar height and with the same dark hair and fair skin, both found work in the B2B practice group at Fleishman-Hillard Canada (which is where they met). They bonded over their mutual interests of shopping, designer goods, more shopping and, last but not least, their love of tall, handsome, English men who had emigrated to Canada. So, inevitably, the men in their lives eventually met and, lo and behold, the similarities continued.

There was none of that “our girlfriends are mates so we have to be mates” type-awkwardness, Rich and myself hit it off immediately in our own right. Sharing a healthy obsession with football (although as Rich follows Nottingham Forest, it’s debatable if he can really call himself a football fan) and a broader interest in sports, beer, more sports and hot, dark-haired Canadian women.

Happily, and perhaps appropriately, April and I weren’t the only ones to tie the knot this year – as Kate and Rich did the deed just a few weeks before us. And today, courtesy of Kate’s talented siblings, we were introduced to a compilation video of Kate & Rich’s history, and it’s a hoot….

Oh, and by the way Kate, I can confirm that April did NOT go through the Laura Ashley phase…so maybe you’re not so bizarro after all.

Mark#14 – Ciao ed Bienvenute a Firenze

September 5, 2006

During our upcoming honeymoon in Italy, we’ll be taking in the sights, sounds, food, wine, culture and, most importantly, romance of Rome, Florence and Venice. And in preparation for our trip, I’m desperately trying to grasp the basics of the Italian language.

So far, the only sentence I have mastered is the one in the title of this posting. But given it translates to “Hello and welcome to Florence”, I can’t imagine a scenario where this will be of any use to us. Well, except I suppose I’ll understand if the concierge offers it up as a greeting when we arrive at our hotel in Florence.  

Originally we were intending to stay in small, boutique hotels so that we could get as authentic an experience as possible. However, we quickly found out that leaving our reservations until just a month before the trip mean most half-decent boutique hotels were fully-booked.

So we changed plan and have instead decided to go for the four-star luxury of the Sofitel Roma and the Sofitel Venezia. Except, that is, in Florence, where we have taken a bit of a gamble on the Hermitage Hotel – a little place just around the corner from the Uffizi Art Gallery. 


Rooftop Terrace at the Sofitel Roma

I’ve just realised that, remarkably, this will be the first holiday that April and I have ever taken alone together. All our previous jaunts have been either to visit April’s family in Nanaimo, or to visit my family in Thornham, or meeting my family in Florida or the Caribbean.

Having already moved in, rescued pets, bought property (twice) and moved countries together, it’s reassuring to know we’ve at least left something until after we get wed!

Mark#13 – More on Croc Hunters Demise…

September 4, 2006


Credit to my good pal, Luke “Hobgoblin” Simpson, for this effort.

Mark#12 – Breaking News: Stingray NOT Responsible for Death of Steve Irwin

September 4, 2006


Mark#9 – Taking the Piss

August 30, 2006

Actually, this post should be titled ‘Taking A Piss’, which is exactly what CNN reporter Kyra Phillps was doing yesterday during a live Presidential broadcast. Unfortunately, she forgot to turn her microphone off…

I imagine George Bush’s media advisors were delighted (in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they arranged it), I mean it’s probably the first time that someone has come off looking more stupid than him during one of his speeches.