On the way to the 61c café today, I swung by the greek market to get some of their delicious olive hummus. The woman who runs the store is a cute grandmotherly type who's fun to chat with. In the area I also found, from Squirrel Hill's shoe repair place, that my primary pair of shoes (which are now a year old? I'm not sure) can be repaired (and cleaned) inexpensively, and I met gustavolacerdagustavo's dad. While talking briefly about food, I was reminded that Hummus can be pronounced in a number of ways when he didn't parse my saying of it for a minute or two. I imagine this is true for a number of words that refer to specific items that have broad distribution over the world - unlike words like bread that are ancient enough to get their own presumably native spellings (Germanic languages tend to be close to Brot, Romance close to pan (oddly, japanese as well)). Unless we have things akin to language institutes eliminating cognates for the sake of language purity (e.g. France's coining of ordinateur to replace computer), I wonder if in the future we'll find new words slowly unifying future languages.
Between the greek place and meeting Gustavo/dad, I thought about Mount Athos (a "special area" of Greece run by a monastic community, well known for violating European Union directives on gender equality by not allowing women to visit, backing it up with police force), in particular the actions by a female Greek model (a bit of googling reveals her name to be Aliki Diplarakou) to disguise herself as a man and thus be let onto the island for tourism. I approve of this, and applaud her for her chutzpah, but recently thought of a troubling parallel where I come down on the other side of respect - at some point in the past I remembered reading about lawsuits relating to activists intentionally doing things with meat in a Halal market that made it haram, later revealing this to people who bought the meat after eating it - I don't approve of that, and thought for awhile about how they were different. The conclusion I came to is that while integrity of religious acts/practice should not be a state protected interest, integrity of one's body and the food one consumes is important, and when it comes to diet restrictions, when purchased as part of an understanding about the food, that interest seems like it should be protected in this specific. By this understanding, it's not about protecting religious practice so much as protecting the integrity of one's body as well as the understandings that are part of the purchase. I understand that part of the latter applies to the case of Mout Athos, but I think that the gender restrictions are against the public interest and that is sufficient to make them outside normal protections for contracts.
Oh, the Hibiscus tea in the 61c is ... very bizarre, and well outside my understanding of what tea is - it tastes like sour cherry juice. I'm not sure if I'd like it if I were in the mood for something apart from tea, but it's worth warning SqHill locals that if they're expecting and are really in the mood for tea, they probably won't want it.