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Eating, drinking….and the consequences

March 20, 2013

Our previous posting was in Israel.  One of the things that they have definitely got over the Pakistanis is coffee making.  Israeli coffee is (and I know that here I run the risk of causing great offence but, chaps, it’s the truth) even better than Italian coffee. They opened a Starbucks in Tel Aviv once and it closed shortly afterwards, not because of any neighbourhood activism against global brands or the like, but simply because their local coffee houses were better.

There are honourable exceptions (see previous post on ‘Mocha’), but this morning I’m not sitting in one. I’m in a café that is the closest to my son 1’s pre-school as I can manage without actually perching on the teacher’s desk.  In my bag are 5 pairs of pants, 5 pairs of shorts and a roll of kitchen roll.  Yes, we’re back to toilet training and this time There’s No Going Back.  5 pairs.  He’s only at pre-school for 3 hours.  As I’ve said before, when I’m nervous I do indeed pack to prepare for a nuclear holocaust.

We get security updates to our mobile phones on a regular basis. Everyday there seem to be some anti-government protests which clog up the streets, so we are told which areas to avoid. This morning’s text message was special as it said that the roads were now clear as “all containers had been removed”.  I can only think that they mean shipping containers.  They’re huge great things. In London, one shipping container in the street would cause untold gridlock through the traffic system.  Here, multiple shipping containers can come and go and I don’t even realise.  You’ve got to hand it to the Pakistani logistics crew (probably one little chap and a crane). 

The first thing that you suspect when you come out here is that there will be a certain rearrangement and potential disturbance within your digestive tract.  I’m very pleased to tempt fate here and say that so far all has been well.  Son 2, however, let’s just say ‘wasn’t quite his normal self’ yesterday.  My friend asked if it was something that he ate.  I’m weaning him at the moment and have recently introduced pasta so my first thought was that maybe it was a wheat allergy.  Then I remembered that his favourite two things in the world are to eat Pakistani grass and drink his bath water.  I think I can pinpoint the source of the problem….


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  1. My cousin (the story may be apocryphal, though my mother swears it’s true) existed for two years on tuc biscuits and bath water.

    And that was in the 70s and St Albans…Can modern Islamabad really be worse?


  2. You’d think not, but apparently there are some bugs in the tap water which can survive 12 minutes of boiling. Impressive, and just a little on the scary side….


  3. That’s by far the most sensible solution. Am off to obtain a lorry load of your finest French mineral water. Actually, I’m consoling myself with the knowledge that he will have a solid steel constitution for the rest of his life, should he survive this posting.
    Btw – am on the edge of my seat about the whole ‘St Albans apostrophe’ thing (but not enough to actually look at a map myself). Any news?


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