Mohammed al Suwaidi's cup of tea
has multiple and changing definitions:
a rainy Sunday, thoughtful company,
black hansoms, London's Constables and Titians.
No less diverse, we find, are its negations:
football, less than gentlemanly manners,
dirty commuter trains and noisy stations,
demonstrators shouting, waving banners.
He learned the phrase in England. Now he tends
to treat it like a cherished souvenir.
He dusts it down, displays it to his friends,
its many facets, clever, coy and queer,
and milks it for the conversational leverage
afforded by his yet untasted beverage.
Yesterday was about as hot as it gets here. The radio had warned that temperatures were going to hit 46C and the general consensus was that 46 was a conservative estimate. My after-lunch walk around the perimeter of Muntazah Park, a total distance of no more than a mile, must have cost me a litre of dehydration over and above the high beetroot hue. The odd thing is, I like it.