Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"What would you like?"

There are things about Pakistan that can drive you to drink, well if there was a hotel or bar in Peshawar where you could get a drink then you would drink.
There used to be one bar, in fact the worst bar in the entire world which was a sealed off room in the Pearl Continental Hotel , which had the atmosphere of of a funeral parlor on Christmas day. However the management took the wise decision that given the rise of the islamist movement in the area there was a very high risk off either one being bombed or two being torched by a mad mob of mullahs.
Thus Peshawar is a dry city, and all sense of humor seems lost on hotel restaurant staff. Greg and I figured that since we had not heard from New York about any live shot requests and we were still waiting on DC for script approval that we would chance going down for dinner.
Option 1 was the Chinese, however on entering it seemed that family night was in full swing. leaving the small people running rampant we went to the lobby to see if the buffet was available, worse than small children they had a man on an electric organ croning for the benefit of the staff as the place seemed deserted. We decided that small children were the lesser of two evils and went Chinese.

Waiter "What would you like to drink, coke , seven up , pepsi ..."
Greg "Can we see your wine list? sir"
Waiter "Coke, seven up, pepsi..."
Me "What about a bottle of Scotch?"
Waiter "Coke, seven up, pepsi..."
Greg "We will have sparkling water...."

One minute later, New York called, 30 seconds after we had ordered our meal, we had a live shot coming up. The meal arrived and we had two minutes to try and get some of it down , before Greg left and I ordered the bill and asked for the meal to be put in a takeaway box, it is still sitting in my safe early in the morning.

If I had a Scotch or vodka or gin (all locally made in Pakistan but not available in Peshawar) then I might be tempted to eat cold chinese and enjoy a fine but rough bathroom tumbler of Scotch.