Arnon Grunberg


Coffee cups

This afternoon I had a very pleasant lunch with Richard H. Houghton III at the only Chinese restaurant in the Green Zone. Actually it opened a few days ago, and the ladies serving tables there speak only Chinese. How they got in Baghdad, and for what reason exactly, remains a miracle.
Fortunately enough Richard, Rich for friends, speaks Chinese and six or seven other languages as well.
He has written the thorough “A Visitor’s Guide To Baghdad’s Green Zone” -- a book that can compete with all tourist guides I have read in my life. Only the sections “where to dine”, “where to stay”, “where to cut your hair” are omitted – for obvious reasons.
Nightlife is non-existent in the Green Zone. But I keep looking.
The dumplings we had for lunch were greasy but tasty. Beer, illegal in the Green Zone is being served in coffee cups - at least if you speak Chinese.