Eggplant Baskets and Qutrubbli Wine

Ain al khail.jpg

Here’s the second half of Hamadhani’s “The Saimara Session.” The first half went out last winter. If you didn’t catch it, it’s there in the archive under “Ropers and Bashers and Sugar Cane Candies.”


Our narrator known as Ibn al-‘Anbas showed up in Baghdad a rich man. He hung out with the local prominent citizens, invited them to his house and lavished them with food and wine and singing girls until he’d spent all his money. Then they left him and couldn’t care less about him. And he was stuck in his huge house lonely and full of regret, wandering room to room, until he was overcome by insomnia and set out wandering. He roamed all over the world gathering stories and strategies of cunning and trickery until no one could match him. And that’s where our story picks up:

The full letter: