Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Ramallah for real: a different generation

By Tom Kenis
I am horrible at time-keeping. It is eight o’clock, and I’m standing at the bar. Muhammad, the bartender, greets me with a smile. “Kif halak?”

“I’m fine,” I say, scanning the room. Ol’ Blue Eyes stares down at me from the wall, framed black and white. Welcome to Sinatra’s. On weekdays you can hear The Voice, crackling from a small array of speakers, while you check your Gmail over high-speed Wifi. At present, only a handful of people are present, including the two girls who’ll be stamping concert goers’ wrists shortly. They have yet to take up their position at the door.

It’s eight o’clock, and I’m standing at the bar, as I said, horrible at time-keeping. After two and a half years still a rookie. I cannot not be on time. Silly me. Frankie Boy shakes his head with the disapproving cool that only a twentieth century crooner-icon is able to muster. From the patio a murmur of sound-checks and last-minute cable-taping is carried in by a spiky draft. Summer evenings around these hills can be deceivingly chilly. Frank Sinatra doesn’t sing Stormy Weather. He merely tuts, and goes about his business hanging from a nail in twenty-first century Ramallah. I, the tutee, decide by taxi to quickly backtrack to my abode and pick up some textiles.

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