Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

It’s Why We’re Here: Lunch at Taco Rock

There is a graciousness in Pensacola that reminds me of life in the Middle East, although the local Pensacolians would be astounded to be compared with the Middle East. If you look closely, though, you can see the similarities.


There is politeness and civility toward others, even strangers. When workmen are in your home, you offer them ice water, or iced tea, and you ask about their families before they start work. It seems to us that when we call for help, we get the same service people coming to our house; I don’t think it is an accident.

People chat a little before they get down to business. I think many a Pensacolian would feel comfortable in the souks, sitting and drinking a little tea before they start to discuss the appropriate price level for the bauble they are considering. They ask about a person’s health, and they ask about your family. They take meals to those who are suffering or recovering.

People spend time with family. Families go to church together, families have meals together, families share child rearing. Multi-generations live near one another. People who went to school together more than fifty years ago form their own kind of family, sharing deeply, attending the funerals of one another’s kin. Funerals are well attended. Very Arab, if only they knew.

There are pockets in the United States where you find groups of Arab nationals; Pensacola has these groups, even a discreet mosque or two. There are stores selling international supplies, including zaat’r and sumak and harissa, chana dal, bulger, wuhammara . . . and restaurants billing themselves as ‘Mediterannean’ whose food would be recognizable to those in the Levant and the Gulf.


There is almost always a breeze off the Gulf to fight the heat and humidity and mosquitoes, and, by the grace of God, there is air conditioning and ice water coming out of the refrigerators. Life is sweet.

Life is all the sweeter because we can get together with our son and his family on the spur of the moment, and end up at a great family place like Taco Rock, where our little grandson can get down when he gets restless, and where there is plenty of time for us to chat, discuss Django Unchained, discuss new developments in entertainment technology, discuss upcoming vacations and arrangements – there is that great luxury of time together, and tasty food at reasonable prices. LOL, this is the Pensacola equivalent of a Michelin Red R, good local cuisine at reasonable prices. Hmmmm, Mexican is probably not qualified as good local food at reasonable prices, but close enough . . .



He is such a delight, our little grandson, who calls the coming baby “that little girl,” as in “when that little girl comes, I’m going to teach her how to float on her back!”

This week, there is another parade! Pensacola must be the parade capital of the world; so many parades! We’ll pick up our grandson, stand on the corner and wave our arms until they throw us some beads. Great fun and good exercise. 🙂



This post is really a great excuse to post some new photos of our grandson 🙂

June 2, 2013 - Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Civility, Community, Cultural, Eating Out, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Faith, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Pensacola, Relationships, Values


  1. Oh, my-he is too precious. His eyes have that glint of someone who is scheming to pull a fast one on you. When is his sister due to arrive?

    Comment by momcatwa | June 3, 2013 | Reply

  2. I call her ‘September’ 🙂 Baby September. That’s not her real name, it’s just a convenience 🙂

    And you are so right, MomCat, that little boy’s mind is everywhere! He is a fast thinker, and so much fun.

    Friday I was tickling him and AdventureMan said “stop tickling him!” and he said “No! No! Don’t stop, I LIKE it!” and we were all dying laughing.

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 3, 2013 | Reply

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