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26 January, 2003

Morning of Muffins

During a pre-press conference discussion of the perils of sheikhmobiles hurtling down Sheikh Zayed at 300kmph+, am reliably informed by a cameraman colleague from Islamabad that "you know who the best drivers are? Indians and Pakistanis. Because they have Japanese cars, which aren't so strong, so they drive more carefully."

Which unfortunately doesn't allow for the infuriation factor of taking Zayed at a steady 120 only to screech to a grinding near-halt behind a Nissan Sunny trundling merrily along at 40kmph in the third lane. Creating the difficult choice of either overtaking on the inside lane, dodging lorries and "Fancy" minibuses, or using the fast lane and running the risk of a sheikhmobile scraping sparks as it squeezes past by the hard shoulder.

Emirates Towers morning press conferences appear to have two forms of catering. One is delicious little sandwiches in varieties of mozarella and pesto, smoked salmon, and tomato and basil. Generally accompanied by nice little biscuits of the florentine variety, or choclatey things. The other is tasteless muffinesque stodgy confections, accompanied by cold and unyielding "mini croissants" in a range of unappetising flavours. This morning the latter, sadly. Disappointment was such that I didn't even stay for lunch.

According to the press release, Jebel Ali port is getting a one billion dollar expansion. The entire presentation was in Arabic however, with the slides in English. One can only hope they matched. Perhaps the speeches were actually about a new muffin factory, which judging from this morning's stodge, they are in dire need of.

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