Like a lucky Dream
by
Jochen Kern

Kuwait 1981

MIDDLE EAST CHAPTER

Kuwait is a non-touristic country.

There was only business. The taxi arrived and it was only a five minute ride from the airport to the Sheraton Hotel. "How much?" I enquired. He couldn’t speak English. That was fine with me and so I gave the driver US$20 which he threw at my head, screaming in Arabic and then drove away.

A funny welcome where even US $20 is not sufficient for a five minute taxi drive. A nice cozy room and a message from the Sheraton Head Office read "Stay one week n Kuwait to familiarize yourself with the Arabic kitchen." This company was great. My wife and I were happy about this arrangement which gave us the opportunity to see one more country.


The Kuwait Water Towers are the only tall buildings 1981

The following morning, I contacted Francoise Croiset, the Executive Chef. "Good morning, my name is Jochen Kern. I am the new Executive Chef for Basrah Sheraton and I would like to see one week of Arabic food." His words were "You must be crazy! Why are you here? Basrah is under bombing and that is why you were invited to stay one week here in Kuwait or did you think that the company is nuts to host you here for a week?"

"But in England, the Area Chef, Mr.Simpson did not mention anything about a war wagging on...He, although did say that Basrah, the former Mesopotamia is the Venice of the Orient and untouched by war..."

Nevertheless, I enjoyed this week in Kuwait very much. The morning "souk" or the local market serves very strong tea for the whole market with only seven tea glasses. According to the vendor, these glasses were not washed as the hot tea that overflows each time kills the bacteria.

Something different and new to add to my hygienic know-how.

 

 

The local Recipe

 

HELL CAN BE TASTY AND STRONG

ARABIC COFFEE

ARABIC LANGUAGE CALLS CARDAMON "HELL."

THE GROUNDED CARDAMON AND COFFEE IS MIXED TOGETHER, PUT INTO AN ARABIC COFFEE POT AND FILL UP WITH HOT WATER. THEN SET TO BOIL. PUT IT ASIDE UNTIL THE FOAM SETS A LITTLE. BOIL AGAIN TO MAKE THE FOAM MORE FROTHY, TO SERVE. YOU WILL ENJOY THIS FOAMY, STRONG AND LIKE HELL TASTING ARABIC COFFEE. AFTER DRINKING IT A FEW TIMES, YOU WILL LOVE AND APRECIATE THE "HELL" AROMA.

 

 

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