Sunday, January 30, 2011


...Cape Town style.

We went out for dinner with friends recently. As we slowed down near the restaurant, the car guard in the street (identified by his reflective vest) waved me to a stop. Where are you eateeng? he asked, in French-intoned African English. Bukhara, I smiled, Park 'ere, he ordered, waving to a space in which a coke bottle would feel squeezed. I reversed the borrowed BMW, swung in, we came to rest. Sharp! he said, thumbs up.

Sharp is good.

It could be a compliment -  about your clothes, your haircut...anything just so.

I felt pleased. 

Our car guard's name was Patrick - say it in French, Patreeck, presumably from Côte d'Ivoire, or Congo, or, or - and we would see him after dinner. Meantime we had good Northern Indian food. I used to love Buhkara but the service was quite bad, and the prices too high. It's over. Sad, because the food really is good. We found the sidewalk-parked 4 x 4 above on our way out.

I climbed into the back passenger seat, with Jay, letting Vince drive with Guy beside him for company. Patrick queried this arrangement. Why you are not driveeng?

I have been drinking, I said, omitting the details (2 glasses of Tokara-Elgin Sauvignon blanc, nice).

Patrick was not amused, and turned away sniffily after being tipped.

Somehow, my sharpness had worn off.

Notes for Bukhara, 33 Church Street: 

Prices: way too high given the service
Maitre d': gives the title a bad name
Waiter: effusive and inefficient
Food: stellar
Noise level: get some wall hangings and suck up some sound.
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