Sunday 26 February 1995
THE TAPAS craze has finally reached America, but a certain amount of social confusion comes in its wake. People there have been puzzled by the tone of cold refusal which sometimes meets an invitation to get together at a tapas bar. To the untrained American ear, it seems, the word "tapas" sounds much the same as "topless".
And cultural faultlines could also be felt trembling in Cairo in the last month. We were surprised to learn how the new McDonald's branch there cashes in on the Ramadan fast, which ends at dusk with the iftar meal. "Have a McIftar!" shout the signs under the yellow arches. "It's anything you want, plus a free soup," said a waiter.
The Dali news
LAST WEEK it was the French shellfish mountain, with oysters weighing up to 1lb a piece. Then came the announcement of a new motor fuel in Australia made from coconut oil which will work in a diesel engine, but smell like hair oil. Hot on the heels of that comes news from China, where two square miles of trees were inexplicably chopped in half within a few minutes. All were cut down by what eyewitnesses described as "a train hanging in the air," according to the report.
Being the sort of column that detects the deep connection between events, we can safely say that on this one, er, we're stumped. Still - giant oysters, sweet-smelling traffic jams, trains in mid air . . . they all have a nicely consistent surreal quality, to the point that you could argue that the surrealists weren't surreal at all, but simply peered further into the future than everyone else.
Whore the merrier
NOW you may think, and I may think, that foreign correspondents lead lives of glamour and ease, but they oddly enough never seem to think so, preferring to stress the rigours, even the squalor, of life on the road. And, well, sometimes they have a point.
Two colleagues now happily back in London tell of booking into a Luxembourgeois hotel which seemed more horrible than usual, with murky bedrooms, shared bathrooms and the distinct impression that the place was somehow related to the whorehouse next door. They eventually went down to settle that question with the desk. "Are you connected to the brothel next door?" they asked.
"Certainly not," said the receptionist, bridling at the suggestion. "This is an entirely separate brothel."
FROM the Tribute Through Clenched Teeth Department: When David Lange, New Zealand's former prime minister, announced he was leaving politics last Thursday, commentators and politicians queued up to praise his achievments and his wit. Finally the present PM, one Jim Bolger, less than silver- tongued himself - and described once by Lange as having "the breadth of vision of a horse with blinkers and the tolerance of the Inquisition" - was obliged to join the chorus.
"He's a very colourful speaker. I'm sure he'll be missed in terms of his flashes of wit. Which are quite spectacular. At times," he said.
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
London property boom built on dirty money
Becky Watts: Stepbrother and his girlfriend named locally as two arrested on suspicion of murder
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...
£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Administrator is requ...