A falafal which is “a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Egyptian food, usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as lafa; “falafel” also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich that is prepared in this way. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces.”—in case you didn’t know what it is. It’s very popular to eat here in Paris, especially by young people as it is affordable. The places selling them, as far as I know, on Rue des Rosiers are the best known.

The most well known place is this one.

This one is right across the street, saying it is kosher.

This little place doesn’t sell falafal but Jewish pastries and regular sandwiches. I especially like the tile work on the exterior.

Down a little street you will find this falafal place but it isn’t your usual.

You find vegetables in the window.

And here are two gourmet falafal without those chickpea balls. They were very good.

See this ambulance? It’s operated by the Pompiers, or firemen the same as regular ambulances. The reason for the photo? Maurice and I had a ride in it to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. Here is the story: Maurice had a cold or flu with a cough and went to the doctor for antibiotics as he always ends up with a bad cough. A few days later he told me he felt dizzy. I thought it was just the mild sort that I sometimes get when I’m weak with illness. About 8 that evening he staggered into the living room and said he wanted to call the SOS doctors who make house calls. A doctor came, gave Maurice an IV med for vertigo and left. It didn’t do a thing. At 4 AM Maurice woke me up and said he needed to go to the emergency room. I, being an ex-nurse, didn’t think it was necessary. I told him it probably had something to do with his ears which could make one dizzy. He said anytime he turned his head, even lying down he was terribly dizzy and that he couldn’t sleep as a result. At 6 AM I looked in the room and he appeared asleep. A little later he again staggered into the living room hanging on to the wall to keep from falling and made an appointment with our doctor across the street. He was also throwing up at this point. He decided to go at 10 AM even though she had told him to come at 11 saying it was an emergency. I had to hold his arm and guide him across the street. Two waiting patients let him go ahead of them. The female doctor, after a bad experience with another couple when some unknown information came out about one of them, no longer allowed the spouse to come in with the patient. I was sitting there reading when she called me into her office and told me she had called for an ambulance which totally shocked me. The ambulance company kept her on hold too long so she called the Pompiers. We went back into the waiting room and Maurice stretched out on three chairs while we waited. Four young, strong and, well, handsome pompiers finally arrived, took his vital signs and decided they didn’t need to transport him but that we should call a private ambulance. I was all for just taking a taxi. The doctor, however, wasn’t buying any of it and, thus, we ended up in that big red ambulance, Maurice on a stretcher and me in a seat instructed to use the seat belt.
So, we got to the emergency room and it was 2 1/2 hours before a doctor saw Maurice. They finally started an IV with three different bags, one of which was for vertigo. It took about two more hours for it all to run in. By now it was three in the afternoon and I was starving. I left to get a quick meal and ended up back in another room where treatment or admission were next. They took out the IV and then the young female doctor came over, put Maurice’s hands on her shoulders while he set up on the bed with his feet hanging off the side, put her hands on his shoulders and then pushed him sideways to his left and then quickly right, banging his head on the mattress. She said this often helped clear up ear problems. Luckily, he didn’t have to spend the night. She told me to check his eyes-earlier when he looked left or right, they would rapidly move. If this happened again, I should do what she had done, banging his head on the mattress, left and right. I told her that I did that anyway. So we went home by taxi. Maurice was still dizzy, but not as bad, and the doctor said it might last a few days. I had to make runs to the pharmacy and I picked up some Sprite, good if your stomach is upset as his was.
Thus ends the tale. This, being the day after, he is still a little dizzy but up and about some, but not having much appetite. What caused it? Either the antibiotics which, as it turns out, can cause vertigo or just something to do with his illness. He has to get an MRI just to make sure nothing else caused it. Fingers crossed here.

11 thoughts to “Falafal”

  1. Hi Linda, I read this recap with interest and concern. Interest of course in falafal. mmmm. But also in your husband’s situation.

    I have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Being dizzy is a tough symptom to diagnosis, it’s linked with so many ailments. Mine was diagnosed by an ENT doctor in the States.

    I comment to say this: there was a CNN article written years ago about how to treat it by laying off the side of the bed (I kid you not) and it was very helpful. A bit more controlled than hitting the mattress 🙂 If I can find the article I will send the link to you on FB.

    Also, sleeping with 2 pillows is very helpful (keeping your head a bit elevated) Vertigo often comes on in the dark, at night, when we’re basically flat and not able to get our bearings. Also, avoid standing on tiptoe or bending down to get something off the lowest shelf. Just tips I have learned over the years.

    Good luck and God bless! Sorry this is such a book – just wanted to throw in my 2 cents. 🙂

    1. p.s. I should add, my spells come and go but usually are many months apart. I can go as long as 6-9 months without a thing, and then BAM. I hope your husband’s situation is from something external, not within his ear like mine.

  2. OMgosh, Linda! What a horror story. Thank goodness he’s doing better. (can it be residual from the oysters?) Fingers crossed here as well, hoping the vertigo is just from some flu-type winter bug. On the other hand, poor guy might still be dizzy from all of that head banging on the mattress! Please give Maurice my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    The falafel looks so good. We can get the balls at our farmers market but nothing like the yummy looking gourmet ones you picture.

  3. Glad Maurice is on the mend. Your description of the doctor hitting his head on the mattress and your response made me laugh. Is it a requirement for the pompiers to be attractive? I think it must be

  4. What a frightening experience! I’m glad Maurice is doing better. I’ve worked in a pharmacy before – antibiotics can have some odd and intense side effects.

  5. Linda, I follow your blog everyday. Enjoy it very much. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
    About vertigo, I had a lot in the last 10 years. I went through extensive tests at the medical center since I have good insurance. They found nothing. So I concluded that it had to be stress related. I have about 1-2 a year now. I learned to recognize the early symptoms and take Dramamine at once. Hope Maurice will be ok. Please keep us, your followers, posted.

  6. What a story! Glad the ending was better than the ordeal. And I guess Maurice should be glad that you are not banging his head on (or with) something else!


  7. Glad Maurice is doing better. My reaction would be to read carefully the list of side effects from any meds. There are always side effects listed, and some are quite frightening.

    I’ve heard about the handsome Pompiers, too. Lucky you, to get a ride in an ambulance. 🙂

  8. So glad you have a nursing background that keeps you cool in such a situation – or cooler than some of us. Antibiotics can do strange things I’ve heard – friend’s mother got a rash that moved up to cover her whole body then went away after 3 days – dr. wasn’t too concerned and suggested it was a side effect of the antibiotics – not impressed by that doctor though.

Leave a Reply