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How (Not) to Eat

Timmy Mowafi puts his money where his mouth is.

It’s the first Sunday of the month; you’re at the office with a full wallet and an empty stomach. It’s lunch time. “Sushi for everyone!” you cry out to an elated roar from the excited staff. Platters of fresh maki and nigiri enter the room as everyone feasts gratefully.

It’s the second Sunday of the month; after a weekend of expensive boozing you ponder to yourself: “I’m hungry but I want something healthy to eat!” You browse online for restaurants that deliver to your area, you hallucinate about piping hot plates of delicious pasta with exotic toppings delivered fresh to your door. You search things like ‘gnocchi delivery Zamalek’ and you find one restaurant that you’ve never heard of before and feel adventurous. You order the gnocchi which is spelt ‘ganokki’ on their menu, just so you can avoid ordering the fast food burger that you know for a fact will give you diarrhea for the rest of the week. The gnocchi arrives and everyone in the office admires your intrepid and avant-garde food selection. They swarm around your delivery bag like it’s the first time they’ve seen a meal not wrapped in oily plastic. Their faces drop when they realise they can’t steal a cheeky fry… Ha,ha! You can enjoy your proper meal in peace. This is a real meal, I don’t eat your peasant food; shoo! You open the box to find a four-inch pool of sauce that can only be described as water with red dye, harbouring four pieces of drowning yellow paste balls. It not gnocchi or ganokki. It’s elaborate cat food. The rest of the staff look on in anticipation, hoping you’ve failed with your food choice. ‘Serves you right for eating healthy and making us look bad,’ you hear them say in your head. You take a bite. It tastes worse than it looks but you’ve paid 50 LE and it’s too late to go back on your choice. You finish the whole plate with a grimace.

It’s the third Sunday of the month; you’ve had diarrhea since last Sunday. You realise you haven’t eaten all morning. You don’t have enough money to be fancy so it’s all about the McDonalds. You just want to order some fries but as soon as you pick up the phone, the office suddenly feels like a stock market floor, with everyone shouting “One double cheese burger combo, no cheese, extra pickles”, “One Big Mac, only ketchup on the top level”, “Two happy meals, one boy toy, one girl toy!” They chase you like zombies around the office, making sure you have their order right and you can’t hear them on the other end. 30 minutes later, you’re still on the phone hearing the order back for the fifth time and the whole ordeal has made you lose your appetite. The food arrives and it’s another 30 minutes of sorting out the right money from each person. They’ve miraculously got everything right except they’ve forgotten your fries. You steal some fries off an annoyed colleague, a chicken nugget or two off another. You sulk in the corner with your make-shift meal, hungry and hated. Then, someone who previously stated they did not want to order food comes and devours half your stolen fries, completely ruining your fries to chicken nugget ratio that your OCD mind has to adhere to.

It’s the fourth Sunday of the month; you’re broke. You start your day with a packet of Chipsy and some Borio. You make your way to the kitchen; the office boy has left half a bowl of Indomie noodles in a coffee mug. It’s the best meal you’ve had all week