Sunday, February 15, 2004

The new American ambassador to the Czech Republic, William J. Cabaniss of Birmingham, Alabama, CEO and Chairman of Precision Grinding, dined at Tulip Cafe tonight along with his counterpart from Budapest, George Herbert Walker III (yes, he's Bush Sr's first cousin). I introduced myself and shook hands with them both. They were here for Prague Ensemble Theatre's Sunday cabaret series. Mrs. Cabaniss asked if a lot of restaurants in Prague were open on Sunday. They were all very pleasant, and I wish my Republican grandmother were alive so I could share the news with her.

Earlier this afternoon, a couple of biggish security guys with suits and badges -- from the Czech Police, I believe, not the embassy itself -- came and interrogated our chef about the food. Poked funny little sensors into the all the grub. Examined every nook and cranny of the cafe (and the garden out back) for bombs and Qaedies and whatnot. Took a close look at the gas mains.

And get this: The head security guy had a leather suitcase filled with labeled jars in which he took individual samples of each part of each item the ambassador ordered. A piece of the lamb, a few spoonfulls of the sauce, a little dab of the pea garnish, and half a slice of the forest fruit tart. Each in its own little jar. Thing is, he didn't taste anything before the ambassador ate it. He just packed the jars into the suitcase and took them with him. Odd.

Anyway, something tells me they don't do this sort of thing for the guy from Botswana.


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