Tag Archives: funny

Coffee and Wine

Going out for a coffee is not a simple thing here. Yes there are the Starbucks and the Costas, and these are always busy. There is even an annual barrister competition, if that is any indication of coffee seriousness.

But there are also the cafes where attendance requires some embellishment, normally of the large sun glasses, glittering head scarf and fabulosa heels variety. We wandered into one divine cafe where the scene, at 10 am on a Sunday morning resembled a post Paris fashion show. The men wore their heaviest watches and silkiest Thobes, but it was the women of the towering heels and reddest lips brigade who really shone. The perfume mingled nicely with the warm almond croissants and roasted coffee beans. With an iphone in one hand and a blackberry in another, it was hard to pick at the ‘Oeufs aux fines herbes’, and carry on a conversation with a best friend at the same time, but they managed.

Maybe it is because this is, by and large, a dry society that coffee is taken so seriously.

Handsome wore a F1 fluorescent orange cap and shorts.  We felt decidedly underdressed.

Then it was onto the next stop: the liquor store. Now, I’ve mentioned before that alcohol is permitted in Bahrain, and in fact some Saudi’s depend on it, but it is not readily available You can’t find a beer or bottle of wine in a super market, nor in a “cold store’ the equivalent of the Quebec depanneur or the corner store. There is no Off License, nor SAQ, nor LBO. I thought Quebec was funny with its rules about where you can buy wine or not and the hours that it is open, or not.  But then I had never been to a liberal country in the Gulf.

Well here it is a whole different story, and one that often comes up as dinner party conversation. “ Where did you find that,” and “ you said how much? I am going tomorrow!” and “ they have that here now”? So far, as much as we can discern there are three shops that sell alcohol and they are not advertised. One is in a hotel, ( with a drive through featuring tons of Saudi plates), one is on a compound and can only be accessed through a sliding sheet metal door or Mondays and Thursdays between 1 and 3 pm. And the third is this one:

Inside it feels like a clandestine affair. There are shifty Indians with bloodshot eyes clutching whisky and fistfuls of crumpled cash. There are the odd expats, scanning the aisles for something new and cheap. There are the newbie expat dads waiting in line for their special discount card that is given out on a whim. Everything is paid for and wrapped in dark bags lest they be seen by a passing opinionated Muslim.

Everything is over priced and falls somewhere between ‘dep wine’ ( ask a Montrealer) and ridiculous vintage French stuff for the people who never look at price tags.

Like those ladies in the coffee shop.

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Filed under Bahrain

Hello Google

I think now that we are in a brand spanking new and fresh place it is time for a little revisit to the search engines. Who knows how you end up here?

i need a horse for my wedding in kampala

Do you now? Can I come? I would love to see a wedding in the middle of Kampala that featured a horse, skipping tidily over a pot hole or two. Will the horse wear ribbons on its tails and will you wear bells on your toes? I do hope your wedding fantasies come true and you find the horse you have been dreaming about.

lying on elbows

You know I find it a bit knobbly and painful. I prefer to lie on my arms, chin on hands, eyes on the movie. But if you are googling this I imagine you don’t know how to accomplish this tricky position. Are you lying on your own elbows? Perhaps those of a dear friend? You dog perhaps? I suggest you slather said elbows in cocoa butter, so as to have a smooth landing and a fragrant smell. Good luck, I hope the elbows give you all the comfort you need, and much more.

road tripping stories

I suggest you don’t trip over or down any roads. It might hurt. I do have a few stories of road trips and I can tell you that on more than one occasion it felt like tripping, in every sense of the word. Be careful, take plenty of apples, think about who you take, drive safe,  do not tip the car and watch out for people called Papu.

happy family in walk

Ahhh, Yes a family in walk is a good and happy family indeed. However there is nowhere to walk here in Bahrain, we walk to the car, out of the car, into the mall/school/supermarket, where we walk happily for a short while and then back into the car. When I am very lucky I walk in London, Montreal or some other city in the Great Shiny West, but rarely are we all together as a family in walk. The best happy family in walk is certainly on the beach.

mudfull

Be mindful of the mud, my friend. If you are here looking for mud, 3limes in Uganda was full of it. Now that we are in the desert, no longer are we full of mud. So sandfull might be more appropriate.

lying in bed reading.

I am charmed that this brought you to my humble home for lying in bed with books is one of my most favourite past times. We all subscribe to the activity and there are many Saturday afternoons when an inquisitive bee, bothering around the house would find four persons, reclining happily on beds with books. I suggest large pillows, a cup of tea and dig in. Presently I am reading three books: Pulse by Julian Barnes, The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton, and Brave new World by Huxely.

Puberty

Now you have come to the right place. We can offer you Puberty at Home 101, pre Puberty at Home 101, Puberty in the Workplace 201, Puberty and its impact on listening to the teacher 401. We also offer side workshops in the following areas: “ Take that Caterpillar off your upper lip” and “ The unexpected: dodging tears and flying objects.”

Red Dust under car dash

Now you have made me nostalgic. Whereas there were moments last year and the one before when I glared at the red dust and wished it gone, now I am looking for it and it is nowhere to be find. Not under my finger nails, not on my window sill and not any where near my car dash. Look how those things once pesky, when no longer here become poetic!

Cockroach room 101

You are not a nice man, yes you. And I am certain no girl would google that, she wouldn’t. Now I have written the post here and there that have mentioned the dreaded roach but how did you assume that they were my 101. Now I have to go and clean out my head, again. Thank you very much. And by the way how lucky am I for a lady with such a particular 101 to be living in hot countries, the ones they really love.

Giant African Snail in Trinidad

I am so proud. How many people can  show off that their blog gets this accolade? 3limes is the only one that internet searches for cockroaches, giant snails, killing chickens and Shoebill birds ( even in Russian китоглав) will all find. How did this happen? I belong to the species Maximus Wimpinus.

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Filed under Might be funny

ha!

Police here are notorious for stopping cars for no apparent reason and doing random driving license checks. Both myself and Handsome have been in the unlucky position of being stopped, whether for a license check, a dirty windshield wiper, talking on a cell phone and once Handsome was even stopped and asked for a ride!

I had not been stopped or ages and the last time I had my Canadian driving permit which, really, you should not drive with here after the first 3 months. So yesterday when I was pulled over and asked for my license I could see the smug look in her eyes. She was sure she was going to see a foreign permit and get some cash out of me. A 20,000 shilling note left on the passenger seat normally sorts out all sorts of problems. But this time I smiled, showed her my shiny Ugandan Driving License and waited. I detected a faint glimmer of disappointment in her eyes and then she said: “ok, have a good day.”

“Thank you”, I beamed and drove off.

Leaping over those hurdles to get that permit was so worth it.

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Filed under Kampala

It’s a First World Problem

This is what I call those problems that we are so lucky to have. Now and again we can push aside the guilt and just have a good old fashioned whinge and moan over a first world problem. Oh woe is me.

Problem # 1:

I changed the SIM card in my iphone to a Bahraini SIM when we went over for our visit and when we got back the thingy that is supposed to spring open when you stick a silver pin in ( and yes I still have the original one that came in the box)  didn’t work. So I couldn’t use my phone. Stuck with no iphone. For a whole week I was back to the cheapest Nokia on the market, known here as a Katoche, and I was all cross thumbs trying to figure out and remember old school texting. I hated it but what I hated more was the thought that if I broke my phone getting the SIM out I would have no phone when I moved. So I decided I need to suck it up and live with Nokia for the foreseeable future. But oh I did miss it so.

Then a very nice man at the very expensive Apple shop here in Kampala (his new name is now Hero) fixed it and I am happily reunited with my beautiful phone once again.

Moral of the story: Once you go iphone there is no going back. Spoilt for life.

Problem # 2:

Do I buy the 24 inch or 27 inch? Does size really matter?

Problem #3:

I found a roll of Kenyan Shillings and headed down to the back to change them, having no real idea of their value in Ugandan shillings. The highest note here is 50,000 which is about $25 or close enough. Strange, I know when you are familiar with $100 bills and 50 pound notes. So when I changed my money I was given such a thick wad of notes that I couldn’t close my wallet.  First and only time I have ever felt like a drug dealer.

Problem # 4:

I have given up on fresh milk. There have been one too many incidents of lumpy cottage cheese poured into my morning coffee and I am now Long Life all the way.

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Filed under Great Big Shiny West

Occupational Hazard

We pass this sign everyday on the way to school and it drives Princess and Trooper crazy. It’s the apostrophes; they cannot comprehend how Alfredo can have a dine out or even be dining out with all those apostrophes in the wrong place.

That would be the problem of having an English Teacher as a mother.

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Filed under Miss Teacher

Easter eggs and Dodo brains

We are nearly there: The flight takes off tomorrow afternoon and before long we will be one family again, in the same place, sharing the same hug. I love the closure of end of term: asking where everybody is going, hearing the exciting travel plans. One friend is going to run the Two Oceans Run in Cape Town; another is going Gorilla Trekking, another to a wedding on the beach, another welcoming family and showing off Uganda. And we are going to see where our new life will be and put some footprints in Bahraini sand.

I promise to take my camera and bring back some photos to share.

Just for the fun of the things and because it is the end of term and there is that wonderful feeling of my desk looking a bit tidier than usual I thought we should have a little visit with the search engines.  How are you all ending up here chez 3limes?

peeing chimps

Those people who are planning on spending some time chimp trekking in Kibale might just experience the joy of being peed on by a chimp. For the very lucky folk, the chimps come down off the trees and sit quietly in a circle picking lice out of each other’s hair. But for us we had the special joy of craning our necks way high to stare at dark shadows in the tree tops and enjoying the spectacularly frequent splashes of pee. They pee, a lot and all the time. The amount is akin to having a large bucket dropped from a great height over and over again.

tree that spread her roots by the river is?

I think you are the same poetic lovely who searched for twisted tree roots. I think we should meet, hug trees, lay down by the roots and have a picnic. I picture a large willow tree that leans precariously yet determinedly towards a running brook. The water is dappled with broken sun light, the poet Rupert Brooke has flung himself upon a field nearby and is tousling his lover’s mane in his bare, strong hands.

dodo brain

That would be me. I am the one who owns the dodo brain, so welcome, come in and take a look. The evidence is clear. I very nearly forgot my niece’s birthday today thinking the 21st is a date more apt for a birthday than the 20th, though after 11 years I should have known. I slipped up and forgot it was my class assembly and only found out an hour before we were due to go on stage. I owed them a lot of chocolate after that performance. I lost my passport while all the time it was sitting on a book beside my bed, I went out for dinner last night with my bag and wallet, phone and lipstick and not one cent of money. I pride myself on holding it all together and keeping my memory intact. But recently the hard drive has been full up there and things have been leaking out. See now, I can hardly remember all the other mistakes I have made and I am sure there are plenty. So if you were looking for the brain belonging to the long deceased Dodo bird then you might want to go to google images. Here it is all dodo brains and worry.

Ta ta for now, holiday people. Enjoy those Easter eggs. We have Neuhaus eggs in our fridge which is a treat from the Great Shiny West and one that exceeds excitement.  In the land where chocolate tastes of sour milk even a Cadbury cream egg would have made us jump but Neuhaus? A box of delightfully wrapped coloured mini eggs?

Too much fun.

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Filed under Family Stuff, Great Big Shiny West, Uganda

The tale of my birthday cake

Funny story. Regular readers of 3limes might be familiar with the quintessential Uganda Cake story. It was a sober warning to many not to trust a cake that comes from the hands of a Ugandan Patisserie, no, far better to bake your own. Well as I mentioned just yesterday my sweet girls had made me a chocolate cheese cake, showed it to me at breakfast time and then we  spent most of the day in anticipation of the wonderful after school treat that was to come.

Princess carefully sliced three portions, placed them on plates and solemnly carried them to the dining room table. They looked at each other with shifty eyes, one of them shrugged; I think I heard a “shhh”.

Then we took a bite and the truth was out, the cat was out of the bag, the jig was up, the spell was broken.

“This tastes like onion.” I said, trying not to sound too surprised.

“The texture is lovely, the chocolate so smooth and yummy but after the first hit of cocoa on the tongue something is wrong.” I said, trying to sound intrigued.

Turns out there was quite a story behind the cake.

In order to make the cheese cake they had to ask Sarah our amazing beyond words house keeper to buy cream cheese for them while they were at school. Princess handed over her pocket money and off Sarah went, to four different shops (this is Kampala) on four different bodas and finally found some. Only the cream cheese she found was cream cheese with onions and chives. Sarah, not being familiar with chocolate cheesecake, let alone the hummingbird cafe Chocolate cheesecake, had no idea what cream cheese even was.

The girls immediately saw the problem but were too embarrassed to tell Sarah that she had erred in her choice of cream cheese, since she has gone to so much trouble. So they made it anyway. Two thirds regular cream cheese (that we already had in the fridge) and one third onion and chives.

And let me tell you: chocolate might go well with chilli, orange, or even rosemary, so I hear, but it does not marry well with the sharp sour taste of onion.

We need to wait until Sarah takes her day off on Saturday before we can toss it in the bin.

Handsome Husband laughed. “Looks like you got Ugandan Birthday Cake too!’

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Filed under Family Stuff, Might be funny