The Pakistani restaurant

The Pakistani restaurant

A Story by Haim Kadman

A reminder: the thriller “The Death Sciences” is free to download between the 16th and 20th of August.


The Pakistani restaurant

The Death Sciences

An excerpt

There were plenty of unoccupied seats at that hour of day, and they sat together next to the compartment's wide doors. Karim it seemed had nothing more to add, his hunger was manifested in a state of slight nervousness, which influenced his protégé’s feelings. Thus they rode in silence, changed trains twice and at Paddington station they got off and surfaced, leaving the dusty tunnels behind them. Whatever they did on that certain ride, was done at their own leisure just like any other passenger did, they didn't seem to have practiced any of the survival procedures.

Well, it's none of my business, not yet anyhow. He's the expert and he must have his reasons. Samir thought and kept his mouth shut.

There were several oriental restaurants on both sides of the street, close to the underground's entrance, Indian and Pakistani most of them. Karim led the way to one of these, a Pakistani small and dreary restaurant, which had in fact the size of an average restaurant back home, and seemed rather similar in its odors in particular to the joints he had usually visited; except for an excessive amount of furniture blocking anyone's way in or out, the place was virtually empty and badly lighted.

It's an ideal hideout for crooks and swindlers. Samir thought with contempt, trailing behind his associate as they made their way inside to their chosen table.

An elderly bespectacled gentleman, with a black headgear, which reminded Samir of a Moroccan red Fez, sat at one far end table; so they chose the other one with a good view on the street outside.

In such places I usually dine when I'm off duty.’ Karim remarked with a sly smile, as they sat down. ‘Nobody would take me for a European, I can't change the typical features I was born with, can I? Such places are my indirect cover shelters; I may pass as a Pakistani, or even as an Indian. I know how frail such covers usually are, but there're instances when such tricks hold; rumors may turn into hard evidence. It’s been proved many a time and on many occasions.’

They had a greasy soup and ‘biriani’ (rice mixed with meat), mineral water and black coffee. A poor and meager meal, compared with a seven-course European one. But who cared for European food with its mild taste, while having such adequately seasoned, and satisfying main dish. He could understand Karim's attraction to those joints very well now, after consuming a belly full of rice and tiny chunks of grilled meat; which tasted just like the best ‘Shishlik’ he had ever eaten anywhere back home.

Any complaints, it's not the most impressive restaurant in town.' Karim remarked ironically, guessing already Samir's feelings about it.

It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a meal so much.’

Well there are some other excellent restaurants such as this one in this district alone, and by the way there's a rear exit to this place that one can use in emergency; and getting there under the pretext of a certain natural need one has to satisfy. Although I can't perceive of such possible circumstances here in London, you should try it just for the sake of training.’

All right, I'll pay it a visit before we'll leave.’ Samir smiled back to him. ‘May I ask you a question?’

Yes, go ahead.’ Karim answered somewhat surprised.

We didn't order any hard drinks, was this on purpose?

That's right we never drink in such joints. I frequent these joints at about a rate of once a month, I order, eat and leave a generous tip; but they don't know who I am, what they do know is that I'm a Muslim, a Muslim devotee just like them. Do you see that old man or the waiter, or any of the personal who’re out of sight; they'll talk about you and wonder who you're as soon as you'll leave, or even while you're still on their premises. They won't give you up as long as they know that you're one of them, a devotee Muslim. Even if they do drink themselves they won't serve you hard drinks, and if you'll just mention a hard drink in their presence, they'll treat you as a stranger. If some rival snoops around after a time and asks them questions, they might give you up for having offended them.’

Taking advantage of his senior’s good spirits, Samir ventured a more

personal question. ‘May I ask how did you acquire your knowledge, and that high level of expertise?’

In Moscow, and you might be sent there yourself if you wish to?’ Karim answered calmly. It seemed as if he did expect such a question, and welcomed it. ‘You may combine it with academic studies, get a scholarship, attend morning lectures and train in the afternoons. It’s not an easy task I dare say, anyway think it over.’ He added covering his mouth with his right palm and yawning, while turning his attention to the street outside. As if Samir's reaction didn't seem to interest him at all. ‘The one and only obstacle is the language of course,’ He turned back to Samir and went right on: ‘But they do have courses in English, a few of them I'm afraid. Nevertheless a young and competent man as you are can learn their language in about three months time. Anyway that’s your best option. The chances of your getting a better one, are very slim, very slim indeed...’ He added with emphasize.

Do you speak Russian?’ Samir asked him after a short pause.

Yes, I do,’ Karim answered him in Russian and repeated it in Arabic.

It was the best piece of advice he could have been given, though the idea itself was so far from his own thoughts. To study in Moscow and learn the Russian language seemed incredible indeed. But in any case I'll be out of Abu-naeef's reach, and that's what Karim was trying so hard to hint at.

All rights © belong to Haim Kadman �" 2017.

A reminder: the thriller “The Death Sciences” is free to download between the 16th and 20th of August.

© 2017 Haim Kadman

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Added on August 17, 2017
Last Updated on August 17, 2017
Tags: suspense, intelligence, espionage, action, adventure, love


Haim Kadman
Haim Kadman

Petach-Tikva, Israel

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