The perfect Saturday afternoon with a lovely barbeque lunch. Chicken legs, burgers, lamb kebab and… my favourite sausages. On the side: salads, chips and oven-baked rice. All this washed down with slow-brewed tea, and Arabic coffee.
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It’s been a while… I was busy catching up with my family, work, and tonight with friends.
We need some pictures for our dining room wall. No fruits nor flowers are allowed! The obvious choice is therefore the most important ingredient after any meal. Not that I need a reminder…
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As terrible as it sounds, I am pleased that – starting tomorrow – I can have the only thing I miss in Ramadan: a good coffee in the morning. I haven’t had time to take a photograph for Eid. I do hope that you like this close up of a Habiscus flower. The shot was taken in April this year at my mother’s garden.
Eid Mubarak to you and your loved ones. I hope all your prayers are answered.
تقبل الله طاعتكم و عيدكم مبارك
Even at the best hotels, food is almost never as good as home cooked… I’m not a breakfast man during the week (needs to change) but when it’s the weekend, I enjoy nothing more. A simple thing like eggs for breakfast is rarely simple during travel. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay at the best hotels almost around the world (I’ve had my fair share of dodgy places too) – but that’s no guarantee. The perfect mix of good toasted bread, properly prepared quality eggs and, of course, a proper coffee – is almost impossible to find.
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This is the first personal few minutes I’ve had since my arrival! I took a taxi out of Paris, first thing Wednesday, and I’ve been busy ever since… My journey out of Paris airport reminded me what an active airport CDG really is. The number of long white clouds (from the jet engines) that lined the sky was impressive. After our meetings, there are receptions, followed by dinners, followed by late nights with colleagues, followed by more meetings the next day. It will be a tough year and many companies are struggling. We are no exception, so it’s important to agree on strategies.
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Coffee time at the office is now as easy as instant coffee (a definate no no) and better than drip coffee (no longer good enough). I have always been against the idea of Nespresso because they choose your coffee for you. The photograph shows the many blends on offer. However the feeling of smelling the beans as they’re being ground is quite literally worth jumping out of bed for.
My current machine, which is amazing, takes a little too long between phone-calls and meetings. The Nespresso on the other hand, using the ready capsules, is ready after pressing one button! You can’t argue with that.
When did you start drinking coffee?
I remember when they started serving it in high school and I started my tradition of the morning cup. During university years, I lived on Arabic coffee made at home. I was in London at the time and the endless lines of coffee shops had not yet began forming. When I moved to Denmark, I recognised what real coffee should taste like. Instant coffee was no longer acceptable. I shiver as I write that horrible word “instant”.
Noor is having what they call a baby-cino (Starbucks’ slang for frothed milk). They don’t recognise the name at Starbucks in Kuwait… So don’t bother. I think it’s a rather clever way to get the children involved when you’re at a cafe – and all they’re having is a cookie and milk.
The reason I chose this photo is Noor’s guaranteed excitement whenever I make coffee at home. The sound of the grinder, the machine beeping to say “ready” and me appearing out of the kitchen and into the dining room – Noor always greeting me with a wonderful smile.
Sometimes it is different languages that cause variations in the way we spell particular words, other times it’s people with silly phases and fashions. The younger generations spell using more numbers than characters, q8y, i8u etc. Dis may tk ls tm 2 typ – but bloody hell it takes me ages to decipher.
We often find ourselves typing Arabic using latin letters, again with the aid of numbers. Who came up with 6 and 3 to mean what everyone knows they mean. In Kuwait, beoble have their own way of spelling almost every word. I had a nursery near my house proudly named “Little Angle”.
I’m reading a book about punctuation - Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss – and it warms me to know I’m not alone.
Spelling and punctuation aside, the different meaning of the same word between languages could cause wars. When I first moved to Denmark, I was looking through the leaflets at the hotel lobby for things to do. On the rotating stand was a huge poster, proudly announcing the FART TIMETABLE. I couldn’t believe it. Just how organised are the Danes? The morning after, I was told that “fart” means “speed” and that this was the timetable for the ferry between Copenhagen and Malmo. I decided to stay
I love everything about the holy month of Ramadan. I find fasting easy even with the thirst in this terrible heat/humidity. What I find most difficult is not being able to have freshly brewed coffee.
تقبل الله طاعتكم
One of the things I miss most when I travel is good coffee.
There is nothing like it in the morning; the noise of the grinder disturbing everyone around me, the constant banging in the kitchen sink (pretending to be a barista), and the music of the espresso machine pumping steam into the golden powder.
I’m having the cup in the photo as I write this post. I need to get back to my work as soon as I finish this.
Disclaimer: I also miss my wife and children when I travel!