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Breakfast in Khartoum

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The coffee tastes like coffee, the croissants are flaky on the outside and soft on the inside, and the wifi is running at the speed of light. But this isn't breakfast in Kenya - where the coffee was probably grown and which is setting itself up to be an internet hub for East Africa. This is Sudan, which is still recovering from decades of civil war in the south and where sanctions are supposed to be bringing the economy to its knees. But since arriving in Khartoum I've updated my iTunes and downloaded new software for my phone. Doing that back home in Nairobi would have meant leaving my computer on overnight. Khartoum has some of the most sophisticated coffeeshops in Africa. Wifi at Solitaire is some of the fastest I've found and I won't bore you again by talking about Ozone's fantastic carrot cake. (Danish pastries appear not to have been banned, incidentally.) It's all a long way from the Khartoum of the imagination - crowded souks, fiery imams and grilled goatmeat. But there is one problem. I've been invited to a friend's house for dinner tonight with a cheery reminder to bring a bottle. I'm not sure a bottle of Coke is going to hit the mark but - for the time being at least - the city remains dry.


JMac | March 29, 2008 2:58 AM | Reply

The city is dry? Is this typical?

Anonymous | March 29, 2008 7:47 AM | Reply

Southerners are known for brewing illegal alcohol here, and expats tend to know how to get their hands on a bottle of wine. But it's probably best not to get into the hows and whys or I'll lose a lot of friends

Anonymous | April 1, 2008 9:31 AM | Reply

But... you could review a bottle of dodgy homebrew on the blog without revealing the source :)

tom | April 6, 2008 7:17 AM | Reply

Walk around in the square two blocks north of the Acropole hotel (behind the Shell Building, it's lined with folklore shops). The bottles will find you.

What do you think?