Friday, January 12, 2007

Star and Bucks

Starbucks is the Mc Donalds of the coffee world, the thought and appeal of it always exceeds the actual product satisfaction. Lets face it when you finally get near the counter there always seeems to be someone ordering a " Grande Decaf Low Fat Soya extra hot unscolded latte with whipped 5% cream to go" and what is worse is that the person behind the counter does not even blink did you know that there are 87,000 combinations that can be ordered at the counter.

Has Ramallah in the West Bank become the latest victim in Strabucks desire to conquer the world. Filming in Manarah Square, Ramallahs equivalent to Times Square New York, except the locals have on occasion been know to hang dead collaborators upside down in the middle of the square to warn the population.

Well looking accross the square, well actually it is a roundabout, (then again Times Square is also not a square) accross and looking up there it was a brand new fancy: Star & Bucks.

Thats right Star and Bucks, using the same colors same fonts and making sure that the and is not that prominant. Ramallah has fallen victim to a fake Starbucks.

So we head up to the second floor determined to find out more, walking in the door it was good to see that smoking is naturally acceptable, no self respecting restuarant would dare to forbid smoking inside, in fact you can even get a hubbly bubbly pipe or Hookah to enjoy with your coffee.

Brittany Spears videos blared out from the Plasma TV mounted on the walls MTV is alive and well here, and to add a personnal note here, you start to appreciate the high musical quality of Brittany Spears when at other times you are forced to listen to the cat wailing that Arabic music can sound like in most restaurants.

But it is the coffee that matters correct, remember we are talking about a Star & Bucks.

So Mike Tobin, Reena Ninan (our new correspondent here in the Unholyland) and Producer Ibrahim Hazboun studied the menu noting that Humus and Falafal are not normally seen on the Blackboards of Starbucks New York, but there is something that both have in common, both are capable of bad coffee.

We opted for the large latte, and duly out came three enormous almost beer mug size these bland milky looking frothy things. Nena opted for an Anise Tea (yeah I know - anise & tea what is the world coming too).

Back to the coffee, well the closest our milk came into contact with coffee maust have been after they heated the milk and held a can of instant coffee to the side of the glass mug and hoping that osmosis would happen and the flavour and taste of coffee would blend from the unopened can thru the metal and glass and into the milk.

So for Starbucks devotees out there, rest easy the coffee sold in the Star & Bucks is just as bad as Starbucks worldwide. They might not have the winter cinamon latte just yet and the tea is Liptons not Tazos but we were led to believe that coffee mugs are forthcoming.

Thus I will return to get a coffee mug from Star & Bucks Ramallah, because that is a classic collectors piece of on the road useless crap you buy, that will go just nicely with my genuine United Nations "Gaza Strip Club" T shirt.

Strange but Owner was reluctant to discuss any issues related to copy right matters.

Ramallah will never be the same.

West Bank


Jungle Mom said...

You were right, this was worth waiting for! But, isn't imitation the best from of flattery?

PLANET3RRY said...

How awesome is that?

Do they carry a Date Cappuccino?

Liptons not Tazo
You'd think that would at least try to get Bigelow Tea... really...

Anonymous said...

Good grief Mal! Wonder what they passed over the anis tea! Whew!Sorry Mal. My mistake. That's Anise tea. Just put my glasses on and reread your funny story. Guess I got carried away with the "close but not the real deal" part of your tale. Of course they stired it with a licorice stick. Silly me. Guess it could have been worse...but not much. Love Mike Tobin's body language in that photo. Something definitely made him withdraw into his inner being. A story worth waiting for even if the coffee wasn't. Thanks for covering the good, the bad and the ugly, Mr. James. Can't figure out exactly which one this was though.
Annie & Neatie

21st Century Mom said...

Great story. MTV in Ramallah? The mind boggles.

I would get a case of those mugs - it will solve your gift giving issues for years to come.

Anonymous said...

E-Bay, baby! :)

Jill said...

Funny post!!

As for worthless t-shirts - I have one that says:

"Marine Bar Moscow - the only radiated bar in the world." (this was from Moscow when it was part of the USSR!)

misty23 said...

just found your blog the other day........fascinating array of get to places i can only dream of going......btw, did you run in the tiberias marathon?