Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Bo Kaap


The Bo Kaap District, Cape Town, South Africa. ©Tauseef Mehrali 2003

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Eavesdropping 2

Not really eavesdropping as the conversation involved myself but as there's already an 'Eavesdropping 1' post, why curtail a potentially highly successful and lucrative book deal?

Sat at a restaurant in Manchester's over-hyped self-christened curry mile AKA Wilmslow Road I don't know what overcame me but I decided to order a Chicken Toofan [sic] which had four chillis alongside its name to indicate capsaicin content (inversely proportional to actual flavour). When the chicken blocks smeared with tomato paste and chilli powder arrived, I rapidly realised that a carbonated beverage would be wise. Having ordered the drink I waited and waited whilst emptying the tanker of tap water alongside me.

As the amiable waiter (W) began clearing the table I (LA) made an enquiry:

LA - You forgot the Coke.
W - [Taking slightly longer than normal to compute a simple piece of information eventually breaks into a broad smile] Thank you sir. Thank you very much.

As he tidied away the crockery he stopped before leaving the table and turned,

W - Thank you. Dessert please?
LA - I'll have the bill please.

Lost in translation?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Lane's Lexicon

The prestigious (and prodigious) Lane's Lexicon - an extensive dictionary of the Arabic language started by Edward William Lane in 1863 and completed posthumously, by his nephew Professor S L Poole - is now online and avaialable for download.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Letter published in The Guardian Review

In response to Oliver Miles' review of Robert Fisk's The Great War for Civilisation. It's a shame they edited the letter's original title: Pedants Unite!

Role of Fatima

In addition to being the cousin of the prophet, as Ahdaf Soueif rightly points out in her response to Oliver Miles's review of Robert Fisk's The Great War for Civilisation ("The big picture", November 19), Imam Ali was also the prophet's son-in-law by virtue of marrying his only daughter, Fatima. Miles is quite correct: "mistakes undermine the reader's confidence".Link