Wednesday, 26-Oct-05
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Sunday, 30-Oct-05

A Change of Venue

They kept their word at work. Tonight I'm going to sleep at the Sultan's Palace. Well, almost. It's called the Trader's Hotel and it's on the nicer side of town. I drove here in the dark and rain so I couldn't see anything but I'm told there will be shops, etc within walking distance. That'll be nice this weekend.

When I walked into the lobby I was instantly impressed. It looks like a palace. A huge, marble lobby trimmed in rich wood and brass with chandeliers and thick drapes. Verrrrry nice!

I unpacked my stuff and headed down to the restaurant to finally eat some meat. I haven't had any protein in a week. The Days Inn was all vegetarian. This restaurant had chicken and fish and lamb and hmmmm... It also had live music! At first I thought the PA system was a little loud then I noticed the two fellows sitting on the floor in the center of room playing the sitar and drums. Excellent! Such ambiance... Who am I? Bond, James Bond.

The waiters literally stumbled over themselves getting me seated and asking me if I wanted mineral water or bottled water, room temperature or chilled, etc, etc. They were bumping into chairs in their rush to attend to my every whim. It was great. The main guy stopped and asked me a bunch of questions about where I was from, what was the weather like, was my house damaged by the storms he'd heard about in America. It made me feel very much at ease and very welcome in his restaurant.

When I bit down on that first juicy chunk of chicken I knew I'd arrived at the place I wanted to stay for the rest of this trip. The spices were just right. I had a dish of thin tortilla-like crackers with three small bowls of spicy sauces each with a tiny spoon that you use to ladle the sauce onto the cracker. Delicious! (Are you getting hungry?!) I left the restaurant reeling and waddling with my stomach stretched to the max.

I should sleep well tonight, the bed is not made of cement.

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