Thursday, 13 June 2013

There's so many different worlds / So many different suns / And we have just one world / But we live in different ones

More Short Calls:

Shokola Lite.

On the surface, it's everything I would normally hate about a restaurant. Staff in brightly coloured "African" uniforms. A starbucksy vibe. The young gifted and white hunched over their Apple Macs idly updating their status. It sucks all the snot out of a dead dog's nose.

But I like avocado milkshakes. Avocados are good for your liver and contain lots of protein - essential for a hard-drinking streetfighter like me. They do a good avocado shake at Shokola Lite.

So if you see a man in a suit sitting alone in Shokola Lite drinking an avocado shake and scowling at people it's probably best not to approach him.

Shokola Lite: Kacyiru, in the ugly building (no not that ugly building, the other one) opposite Top Tower hotel. Just follow the stench of privilege.


A night in Kigali.
One white man is attempting to sing like Ian Curtis. I have to get some air.

Two young Rwandese guitarists perform a short set of Kinyarwanda songs. A white man pats one of them on the head at the end.

Three thuggish looking South Africans wearing matching shorts and work boots lurch around drunkenly, tugging at elbows and breathing hot, boozy breath into offended faces. They look like a shit boy band. They look like they're having fun.

Four asymmetrically-haired young men with matching red-checked shirts stand together self-consciously, narrow shoulder to narrow shoulder, eyeing the South Africans with disgust and suspicion. They look like a shit boy band. They don't look like they're having much fun.

The Coach looks at me from under his baseball hat: "This is very strange".


Lebanese Resto and Bar

Sometimes you arrive at a place and you know, as soon as you cross the threshold that you're going to like it.

So it is with Lebanese Resto and Bar, which is a Lebanese restaurant and bar.

Aside from being located adjacent to a petrol station, it ticks all the boxes: not too brightly lit, decently stocked bar. There are some gentlemen talking with good humour at the bar, perky waiters, couples, Lebanese folk.

You get the feeling that this is the sort of place where you could sit with a good friend, undisturbed, and conversation would flow and riff away like Mark Knopfler. It's unpretentious and calm.

OK, OK, the humous is clearly out of a tin, and the menu hardly does Lebanese cuisine any justice, but I've never been to another restaurant which so evocatively conjures up the aura of hiding in a little shed at the bottom of your garden listening to a BBC world Service program about owl noises while smoking a pipe.

Lebanese Resto and Bar: in the petrol station by Frulep, Gikondo.

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