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Summer edition 6: A Hologram for the King

It has been a while since we’ve blogged in English but you know the rules: English book, English review. So here we go:
A book has always a story to tell and I am not talking about the plot here. There is always a special story about how you got the book, a story which you will always remember if you take the book off its shelf again. A good friend recommended it or you’ve found it on a flea market – it doesn’t matter as long as you had a good time reading it. I bought Dave Eggers’ ‘A Hologram for the King’ while spending a holiday in Greece last summer. I ran out of books and it was pretty hard to find an English book there, as my Greek is just good enough to ask people how they are.
I loved the green cover with the golden letters right away and the story sounded great. Alan travels to Saudi Arabia to sell a holographic teleconference system to King Abdullah. From the commission he’d get he wants to pay his daughter’s college tuition, but there are more problems than this one in his life. However, the presentation of the system is delayed day after day as King Abdullah always cancels the dates at very short notice. So they spend their working days waiting in a big tent without air conditioning for the King and his advisers to arrive. I am not going to tell you what happens when the King finally arrives and if Alan is able to sell the system which is supposed to solve all his problems. Even though the book is not going to be my favourite one, the scene in the tent stuck in my head while spending some time in Dubai…

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I spent five days in Dubai in August and yes – it was HOT! 47°C in the shade … Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates and is therefore a neighbouring country of Saudi Arabia. I loved the city, it’s just absolutely fascinating what you can build in the middle of a desert. You can go shopping in one of the largest malls in the world, visit the Burj Khalifa, which is actually the tallest building of the world and you can even go skiing!

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You can go on a drive through the red desert sand as well. It’s called dune bashing and it is a lot of fun – however if you have a sensitive stomach you might want to consider to get out of the car earlier … it’s also fun to watch, believe me! Afterwards we had a delicious dinner in the middle of the desert, while sitting on a rug we enjoyed local food and they also served mouth-watering humus. We were especially lucky as there was a ‘super moon’ that night! It was definitely a night to remember.

Last weekend we had a small brunch at my house and we had homemade humus, with bread and goat cheese with figs. It’s so easy and yet so delicious!

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Ingredients (for 4 persons)

– 400 g chickpeas (canned)
– olive oil
– 1 table-spoon tahin (sesame cream)
– salt

Wash the chickpeas and blend the chickpeas, the tahin, olive oil and salt in a mixer. Tip: if you do not want to buy tahin, just roast some sesame seeds in a dry pan, put them in the mixer (before you start with the humus) and add some sesame oil until you have a sesame paste. Enjoy!

While we enjoyed our summer full of travelling, eating and reading, autumn sneaked in through the back door. So this was our last blog entry in our ‘summer edition’ section. Don’t be sad that summer is over, autumn is as pretty – and yummy – as summer (the cold not included here!). Thanks for spending this awesome summer with us!

Dave Eggers: A Hologram for the King
ISBN: 978-0241145852

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