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26 March, 2003

Fisherman's Basket

A severely disturbing experience in both time travel and teleportation: one second hurtling down Sheikh Zayed through the desert, the next instant transported to a 1980s style suburb of west Birmingham with a traditional-style working men's club, faded in its dingy glory. Jebel Ali "village", and Jebel Ali club.

Here the walls are lurid with posters of dated pub performers, the clientele sport broad northern moustaches and even broader accents, the food includes prawn and grapefruit cocktail and Fisherman's Basket, and - call the mullahs! - Friday's special is honey roast ham or pork.

The only clue that this is a weird, alien simulation of 1980s "British life" is the staff: all filipinos (robots?), rather than fat Corrie Street-esque barmaids and shifty-eyed landlords.

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