Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

It took me much resolve to pick up this book.

It has been on my shelf for the last 7 years now. I hadn’t picked it up because I had thought it would be a formidable read.
The location, the setting of the story was solitary as I understood from the cover page.
The blurb, the title and the story itself, I heard from all who had read it, was dark. So I thought it would be some slow moving narrative, one of those books that’s of interest primarily to academicians and that I would take an eternity to finish it.

But it wasn’t all that dark, or if it was, it didn’t feel like it and I looked forward to picking up the book everyday.

Wuthering Heights is a novel of love and revenge.
It tells the story of two families, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, separated by 4 miles, as seen by a servant Nelly who prevails through the changing lives and times of 3 generations.
When Mr. Earnshaw owner of Heights, brings home a foundling, Heathcliff, to live in the family, complex feelings of jealousy and rivalry develop between his own son and the foster son; also, at the same time, an alliance between his daughter Catherine and the foster son.
Misunderstanding from a half heard conversation, that he has been rejected by Catherine, Heathcliff, leaves The Heights, insulted and bitter at everyone…
When he returns, Catherine is married to Edgar Linton, but she is still fond of Heathcliff. Disaster follows for the two families as Heathcliff begins to take revenge on them all – Edgar who had treated him with disdain and has now married Catherine, his foster brother Hindley who had ill treated him, Hareton who is Hindley’s son, Catherine’s daughter...
Only the second generation survive Heathcliff’s destructive passion and with the death of Heathcliff and his destructive love, the air filled for years, with bitterness, malice, fear, sickness and death, lifts, making way for fresh air, light and tender love, at last.

I loved reading the book and as I closed it, I discovered that I was a born classic lover.

What is it that makes the story enjoyable although dark? What saves it from formidability?

I think the fact that it is being narrated by Nelly who is a good woman and throughout the story narrates the events along with her judgment.
If the story weren’t narrated by anyone and the reader were plunged into it headlong and left there to himself, discovering dark characters and their dark deeds one after the other, the reading would have been formidable and depressing.

As it is being narrated by a character who is not dark herself and a woman of good disposition, the reader is at a safe distance from the cold core of the story, in a way, and is shielded by the narrator, from complete exposure to its depressiveness.

What usually causes discomfort is the absence of judgment: when the narrator refuses to take sides and the reader is alone in his sympathies and his resentments and not even sure about it.
Here, the narrator Nelly is the omniscient voice controlling sympathies. She calls a black man black and a black deed black. And that is much consolation to the reader. It is as I said, as if there were someone sympathising with the reader's sentiments; as if he were not all alone on a solitary journey.

All the characters die untimely deaths – of sickness, of childbirth, but in the end, the reader experiences the satisfaction of divine retribution and the restoration of peace and property to its rightful owners.

The story spans two households and 3 generations.
The slow moving style, typical of classics, where the narration adequately and eternally dwells upon the characters makes the reading a very intimate experience and helps the reader to live the story very deep.

The landscape is solitary yet charming.
Time moves slowly in those quiet, secluded moors.

‘There’s a little flower up yonder, the last bud from the multitude of bluebells that clouded those turf steps in July with a lilac mist…’
‘Before I arrived in sight of it, all that remained of day was a beamless am¬ber light along the west: but I could see every pebble on the path, and every blade of grass, by that splendid moon…’
‘In winter nothing more dreary, in summer nothing more divine, than those glens shut in by hills, and those bluff, bold swells of heath…’

The solitary air of the location also helps to achieve the absence of clutter and clamour and brings the reader really close to and focused on the one single story.

The language standard is simply a feast.

The reader gets a taste of authentic England, of the English people, of their culture, of their ways of life, of the landscapes, their attire, their food; their hats, ponies, barns, fire places, libraries, sprawling houses with parks surrounding them, their countryside, their cold winters and their lively summers…

Shifting sympathies is another feature of the story that stood out as uncommon, as also the apportioning of sympathy to various characters.

The only protagonists happen to be those characters who are not really part of the story: the narrator, Nelly who is a domestic help, Mr Lockwood, a tenant who is listening to the narration and Mr Earnshaw with a small role.
The main characters around whom the story revolves share the reader’s sympathy as well as his angst and resentment.

Heathcliff is introduced as a savage dark soul, but as the narrator goes back, in retrospect, to the beginning of the story, the reader sees that Heathcliff really began as a poor foundling but became perverse following blow after blow dealt upon him by Hindley, Joseph, Edgar and Edgar’s parents. Having lost Catherine too, and hence having lost all, with nothing left on his side, he disappears from the Heights and returns with an agenda of revenge and ruins his aggressors, his persecutors and adversaries.

But, though justified in his hatred and anger to some extent, he goes too far, when he, instead of stopping at avenging his offenders, persecutes their children and family members as well. When he proceeds to ruin his own son’s life, the reader begins to hate this character. Initially there is some compassion for him but he goes overboard and loses it.

The reader’s sympathy is divided also in the case of lovers, owing to their many flaws.
The two lovers, Catherine and Heathcliff, should have had all of the reader’s sympathy (undivided) but because of the haughtiness and craftiness of Catherine and the wickedness of Heathcliff, the reader’s sympathy is divided and eventually the two lovers lose all of it.
The reader begins to sympathize with the original persecutors – Hindley, Edgar, Isabella, Hareton as they become victims and loses all sympathy for Catherine and Heathcliff.

Lines that I noted…

‘I’m now quite cured of seeking pleasure in society, be it country or town. A sensible man ought to find sufficient company in himself.’

‘A person who has not done one-half his day’s work by ten o’clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.’

‘I perceive that people in these regions acquire over people in towns the value that a spider in a dungeon does over a spider in a cottage, to their various occupants; and yet the deepened attraction is not entirely owing to the situation of the look¬er-on. They DO live more in earnest, more in themselves, and less in surface, change, and frivolous external things. I could fancy a love for life here almost possible; and I was a fixed unbeliever in any love of a year’s standing. One state resembles setting a hungry man down to a single dish, on which he may concentrate his entire appetite and do it jus¬tice; the other, introducing him to a table laid out by French cooks: he can perhaps extract as much enjoyment from the whole; but each part is a mere atom in his regard and re¬membrance.’

‘We MUST be for ourselves in the long run; the mild and generous are only more justly selfish than the domineering’

Heathcliff to Catherine - ‘I seek no revenge on you. That’s not the plan. The tyrant grinds down his slaves and they don’t turn against him; they crush those beneath them. You are welcome to torture me to death for your amusement, only allow me to amuse myself a little in the same style… Having levelled my palace, don’t erect a hovel and complacently admire your own charity in giving me that for a home. If I imagined you really wished me to marry Isabella, I’d cut my throat!’

‘Her appearance is changed greatly, her character much more so; and the person who is compelled, of necessity, to be her companion, will only sus¬tain his affection hereafter by the remembrance of what she once was, by common humanity, and a sense of duty!’

‘I don’t know if it be a peculiarity in me, but I am seldom otherwise than happy while watching in the chamber of death, should no frenzied or despairing mourner share the duty with me. I see a repose that neither earth nor hell can break, and I feel an assurance of the endless and shadowless hereafter - the Eternity they have entered - where life is bound¬less in its duration, and love in its sympathy, and joy in its fullness. I noticed on that occasion how much selfishness there is even in a love like Mr. Linton’s, when he so regret¬ted Catherine’s blessed release! To be sure, one might have doubted, after the wayward and impatient existence she had led, whether she merited a haven of peace at last. One might doubt in seasons of cold reflection; but not then, in the pres¬ence of her corpse. It asserted its own tranquillity, which seemed a pledge of equal quiet to its former inhabitant.’

‘I was weeping as much for him as her: we do some¬times pity creatures that have none of the feeling either for themselves or others’ - Nelly weeping for Heathcliff when he is not moved by Catherine’s death.

‘(Heathcliff) laughed; Hareton darkened: I perceived he was very sensitive to suspected slights, and had obviously a dim notion of his inferiority’

‘She then turned her attention to seeking out objects of amusement for her¬self, and tripped merrily on, lilting a tune to supply the lack of conversation…’

‘Miss Cathy conversant with no bad deeds except her own slight acts of disobedi¬ence, injustice, and passion, arising from hot temper and thoughtlessness, and repented of on the day they were com-mitted, was amazed at the blackness of spirit that could brood on and cover revenge for years, and deliberately pros¬ecute its plans without a visitation of remorse’

‘Never did any bird flying back to a plundered nest, which it had left brimful of chirping young ones, express more complete despair, in its anguished cries and flutterings, than she by her single ‘Oh!’ and the change that transfigured her late happy countenance’ - when Nelly disturbed Cathy’s drawer full of love letters to Linton Jr.

‘Her affection for him was still the chief sentiment in her heart. (Catherine’s love for her father)’

‘We deferred our excursion till the afternoon; a golden afternoon of August: every breath from the hills so full of life, that it seemed whoever respired it, though dying, might revive. Catherine’s face was just like the landscape shadows and sunshine flitting over it in rapid succession; but the shadows rested longer, and the sunshine was more transient; and her poor little heart reproached itself for even that passing forgetfulness of its cares’

‘Oh!’ she replied, ‘I don’t wish to limit his acquirements: still, he has no right to appropriate what is mine, and make it ridiculous to me with his vile mistakes and mispronunci¬ations! Those books, both prose and verse, are consecrated to me by other associations; and I hate to have them debased and profaned in his mouth! Besides, of all, he has selected my favourite pieces that I love the most to repeat, as if out of deliberate malice.’
But his self-love would endure no further torment: I heard, and not altogether disapprovingly, a manual check given to her saucy tongue. The little wretch had done her utmost to hurt her cousin’s sensitive though uncultivated feelings…

‘(A sight)…it affected him too deeply to allow an observation on the subject that night. His emotion was only revealed by the immense sighs he drew…’

‘The red fire-light glowed on their two bonny heads, and revealed their faces animated with the ea¬ger interest of children; for, though he was twenty-three and she eighteen, each had so much of novelty to feel and learn, that neither experienced nor evinced the sentiments of so¬ber disenchanted maturity’

‘How did you contrive to preserve the common sympathies of human nature when you resided here? I cannot recognise any sentiment which those around share with me – Isabella in a letter to Nelly’

‘I saw it pleased him (Edgar Linton) that his sister had left her husband; whom he abhorred with an intensity which the mildness of his nature would scarcely seem to allow…’

‘I was spared the pain of being the first proclaimant of her flight’, Nelly. A maid announced Isabella’s running away.’

‘I could not picture a father treating a dying child as tyrannically and wickedly as I afterwards learned Heathcliff had treated him, to com¬pel this apparent eagerness: his efforts redoubling the more imminently his avaricious and unfeeling plans were threat¬ened with defeat by death’

The havoc that months had previously wrought was now emu¬lated by the inroads of hours - Edgar linton’s health.

Frightful Yorkshire pronunciation

‘I did not love her, and rather relished mortifying her vanity now and then…’

Catherine tearing her pillow - ‘That’s a turkey’s,’ she murmured to herself; ‘and this is a wild duck’s; and this is a pigeon’s. Ah, they put pigeons’ feathers in the pillows no wonder I couldn’t die! – pigeon’s feathers are supposed, in north country superstition to prevent the soul from leaving the body.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Everest Calling - Tengboche

Tengboche is perhaps the most picturesque of places we have seen in this trip. Namche is picturesque but it is crowded.

What lay hidden behind the mist, we knew not.
What we saw was a neat looking lodge, a significant looking monastery and a very small and tidy market place with 4 to 5 shops, the most prominent of which was the Everest Bakery.

There was a clearing at the centre around which there stood the monastery, our lodge, the German Bakery on two sides and on the other sides, the trees of the forest and the trail that brought us here.
This rolling clearing was covered in sparse grass – yellow and green and there were cattle grazing here and there in the clearing.
It was the fog that made the place look like a dream.
After checking in to or rooms, we went to the monastery. Having been to Ladakh, and having seen a dozen monasteries on exotic hilltops, this was not a new experience exactly, but a monastery is always a charming thing.

After the visit, some of us went to the German bakery.
We ordered this and that but then, as everywhere in this trip, the pastries looked much better than they tasted. It was not so much the taste but the texture, rough, dry that disappointed. Perhaps it was the cold weather, besides shop keepers cutting corners.

There was a clearing yonder, a level one, that was being used at the moment as a football field. Some monks, in their maroon robes, were playing football. And a few of our boys joined them.

It began to get dark. As the fog shifted about jagged blue grey mountains, completely hidden before, came into view and surprised me with their proximity to us.

The next morning, our group leader from the room next to ours told us that Everest was visible. I ran outside with my camera. The picture outside made me forget Everest for a moment.

There was bright sunshine. Some more fog had cleared and the outlines of more and more hills, mountains became clear.
First Everest was not visible, but I knew what direction to look. And then, I saw it. It was small; all except its blunt peak was behind the wall that was Nuptse. But it was there, for sure.

This view, I was told, was what we were to see from the Everest View Hotel when we had just begun our trek. That hotel stood in the same line of view, but behind us.
On that cold day, as we stood in the balcony of the hotel, watching snowfall and looking at the fog covered grey valley before us, we hadn’t imagined there was this charming village down there.

Too bad we had to leave this place in a few minutes. One more day here would be so lovely.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

To Be

The question, ‘what is the greatest blessing in life?’ will receive as many different answers as the number of people in this world. Well, almost. And different answers at different times.

I stumbled upon my answer recently.
And it seems to have a feel of finality to it.

To be able to do what you want to do, without constraint, is certainly a great blessing, if not the greatest.

I quit my job early this year. And decided to take a break for a few months, as I usually do in between jobs, so that I can do what I like to do in that time - read, write and travel - basically.

This time, the break has been the longest. And it has been most unexpected.

I had once thought I would resign someday for one year, especially to read. This was when I had finally laid my hands on those elusive 11 volumes of ‘The Story of Civilization’.

The resignation happened long after.

I read.
Not those scholarly works I had in mind but others.
I read 5 books simultaneously. All of different genres. History, literature, spirituality, economics and one coffee table book on general knowledge. A few pages from each book every day.

I wrote.
Not just the usual travel posts that my other engagements generally permit, but substantial expressions of thought and experience that leisure and carefree state set in train.

I slept to my satisfaction. Peacefully.
Except for 30 days, when the characters of ‘Gone With the Wind’, a powerful story I happened to be reading then got all mixed with my dreams.

‘Creating something out of thin air’, we all know, but ‘creating thin air out of something’? That’s a challenge I am faced with every few months.
The last time I had created space in my small room, already full, for the pile of new books that I had accumulated, I thought it was the last and final time.
But once more, as I set about the task, I ‘created’ space for 50 volumes, as if by magic.
It’s amazing how much satisfaction creating ‘nothingness’ can give! Two cubic feet of space!

When it was summer, the time to go to the mountains, I left for the Himalayas; not for 1 week or 2 weeks for which I had obtained leave approval as in previous years, but for 42 days! I usually don’t have a fixed plan, just an outline; this time, even the outline was nebulous. I stayed for 4 days in Badri instead of 3; I went to Auli twice because it was so charming; I added to my itinerary a place I had never heard of, just because a fellow passenger dangling before me in a crowded bus said it was ‘Mini Switzerland’.
And what a lovely place it turned out to be!

I went to the cinema, sometimes twice a week, and was in raptures over some really good Bollywood movies they seem to have begun to make. I went on Wednesday noons when the tickets were priced 80 or 100 rupees : ), something I always believed in doing but could not quite do.

When I felt like doing nothing, I did what I usually love to do at such times – stand before my bookshelf and look and look at my most prized possessions, wishing - I could read them all now; thinking - which one I should pick up next; wondering - how long it will be before I can pick up that one; and hoping - that ‘this one’ will not be among the “thirty five books, that are (according to a study) found unread on a book reader’s shelf, when he dies”.

And then, I soaked in culture – the Bombay Jayashree music concert, after which I became her fan, the Shobhana dance drama where I wept for Gandhari, after which I became her fan, the Bangalore music festival where I saw Vidya Bhushan of Udupi sing, whose fan I already am and then the most brilliant of all singing I have seen – by Ranjini Gayathri sisters whose fan my father has been and now, I have become.

Having no fixed plans meant allowing life to happen and be surprised at every small and big thing that came unexpectedly.

I met a friend with a plan for lunch but ended up spending one whole day with her. After having Andhra full meals at Nagarjuna over some good conversation, we took pictures of each other by a wayside tree and finding it growing on us, we walked to a nearby park and took some 50 to 60 pictures more. And in the evening, we went to a hi-fi jewellery exhibition at UB towers, dressed like supermodels. There were two things I saw there for the first time: one, modern jewellery for which I have to acquire a taste yet and second, page three characters.
A cameraman, perhaps taking me for a page 3 character, asked me to pose for him, which I gladly did and lo! the next day newspaper paper carried my picture!
After that we went to ITC hotel and I was wowed by it, although I had used Leela Palace as my backyard when I used to live on airport road.

Over dinner with a friend, I conceived, from an experience she shared, an idea for a short story and then after I came home, 2 more stories from my own life, and felt exhilarated as I moved closer to my dream of authoring a book.

I learnt that I was an influential blogger from some event organizers! who invited me to a Stand Up Comedy Show and then a cooking event by a celebrated French chef.

After a few weeks, I received an invitation from a Delhi based online newspaper to write a letter to the prime minister along with other celebrities. I wrote and it was indeed published!

I went to brigade Road on New Year’e eve to buy plum cake from Koshy’s and Nilgiris, and also to see new year lighting on Brigade road which I had never seen before. I took pictures, and returned home to learn from a friend the next day that it had been an adventure; friend also said I had lost my mind, I was pushing my luck too far... going alone, a woman, to Brigade Road, on new year’s eve!

I redeemed the prize I had won for an article I had written for an Indiblogger/Kissan contest.
What a prize! A tour in North Kerala – everyday a new experience – living in a bamboo cottage in the middle of 20 acres of coffee estate, speed boating in the largest earth dam in Asia, swinging on garden swings suspended from branches 20-30 feet high, tea estates, the possibility of a difficult steep trek outside of the Himalayas, a heart shaped lake on a mountain, colourful mosques and churches, backwaters and beaches!
What a way to begin new year!

Certainly, it is a great blessing to be able to do what you want to do.

But there is something greater than that. I learnt of it in these months, since my quitting work.

It is the blessing of being able ‘to be’. Who you are and who you want to be.
And it is the greatest of all blessings.

All throughout our lives, we are situated such that we can never afford to ‘simply be’.

As little children, as students, as employed men/women, or as married ones... we always have someone or something tugging us in all directions, exacting small and big duties, influencing our ‘being’, exerting, even in the best of situations, a small amount of stress and most importantly, enveloping us in their own touch, pull, words, sounds, feels, impressions, views and hence keeping from us, the knowledge, the feel of who we truly are.

There is always some stress, some obligation, some compulsion, some external influence that won’t allow us to be simply ourselves, but make someone of us.

Even when we have been free to make our own choices, and have chosen say, the best university, our favourite subject and a job we love, we are still ‘engaged’ to what we have chosen and ‘obliged’ to do what is expected.
We don’t even know what it is not to have anyone to answer, not to have any expectations to deliver to.

Some of us, the luckier ones, may manage not be puppets – of other people, of circumstances, but even in the best of times, we are carried about by the circumstances of our own choosing, even as we think we are free.
Most of the time there are strings pulling us. Even one or two, even the faint ones, gossamer like, are enough to keep us from that state of free suspension, free float.

When I started living all by myself, gradually and with the passing of time, all shackles fell one by one and I released myself from all influences that had made me who I was and flowered to become who I am, the true me.
But I never realized that an obligation that I had chosen myself, my employment, was a shackle too, a shackle that still remained, influencing me even as I believed I was free.

But with the falling of that shackle, the last one, I experienced zero gravity, for the first time.

The past few months have been the first time ever in my life, that no one/nothing has had ‘expectations’ from me, not even myself.

There is no stress, no fear, no anxiety, no hurry, no worry, no expectation, no anticipation...

Living alone all by myself, being single, not having to go to work, no definite plans for the future, and parents that have given up : ) has proved to be a special experience.
And unlike other powerful experiences that make an impact, that hit you, this one does not even make itself felt.
For, by definition, this experience is all about the absence of impact.

Only one in a thousand people (if not one in a million) get ever to see this phase of life, to experience this state of being.

And it is this that I am most grateful to, after I have thanked Providence for all the rest...

And I don’t know if I will ever see these days again in my life. It’s one of rare things that happen once in a lifetime.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gourmet Evening with Michelin Star Chef Baptiste from France

How does one describe taste in words?

How does one portray food in any other way except offering a morsel of it to the person to whom one wishes to make the taste, the aroma, the texture, the temperature and the aftertaste understood?

I am having to do it now because I accepted an invitation to savour the offerings of Michelin star chef Baptise from France at ITC Gardenia, Bangalore on the 27th of November 2012.

For the first time, I know that my words, no matter how carefully chosen, will prove powerless.
I will therefore use them sparingly.
Adding to the predicament is the fact that I am no food connoisseur of any sort and have tasted a very few ‘other’ cuisines and that leaves much that I have yet to acquire a taste for.

This cuisine happened to be Italian and I thought thank God, but halfway through the evening, I thought it was unlike any Italian food I had tasted; it was almost like a new ‘other’ cuisine that I had yet to acquire taste for.

That also explains the delay in writing this article – I didn’t know what to write.

First of all thanks to ITC and team Ginger Claps for the invitation.

I entered the dining area and saw that it was washed with purple and it looked lovely. An elevated (beautified) dining area makes much difference. It increases your anticipation, it turns the atmosphere into one of celebration. And it makes you take the food seriously, to treat it as special, to dwell in every mouthful, even if it be bread and cheese.

The tables were inundated with glasses. They were meant for the four seasons wine, one flavour to be served with each course. If they had been brought in due time, no one would have noticed anything amiss, but it was a clever idea to spread them all on the tables beforehand, for they each, reflected the purple in the air and made the tables look fascinating.

There was a time when I loved the fine soft bread called croissant or crab and ate only that and considered in edible the hard, tough breads. But now, I enjoy all of them as long as they are served with cheese, which they usually are.

That’s the menu for the 6 course sit down dinner.

The second from left is the chef.

That’s the first item of the vegetarian menu – Fresh Eggplant & Crunchy Vegetables.

I should have used the flash. That’s a fine, smooth tangy paste of eggplant preparation with crunchy, cold vegetables on top.
It was an interesting manifestation of egg plant and I liked it but how would it be if served with bread to be used as a dip? There is only so much of any fine paste that one can have in spoonfuls. But there is no telling how much of it you will end up eating if you have it with bread. Just a thought.

Second course – Artichoke Risotto with Black Truffle

It was the first time I was having artichoke. I bit into it cautiously wondering what it would be like. It was tangy and I generally like tangy vegetables. But it was the texture that was the best part of it. It was made of many layers and was cooked, so that every layer offered its little weak resistance before giving in to the reluctant grinding of your teeth and releasing its juices.
The risotto could do with less cheese. The dish could do with two more pieces of artichoke.

Third course – Beetroot Orange and Goat Cheese

An almost fine paste of beetroot with the surprise of small pieces of orange marinated in it and covered with goat cheese.
Knowing what I do about beetroot, that they come in two varieties - the really sweet ones and the salty ones, I would say that to get the best results you have avoid the salty ones.
I am not sure if beetroot used in this dish was cooked or raw.
I think beetroot is generally more palatable when cooked. It may not do for this dish but a little steaming, if not cooking the beet, or using a mixture or raw and steamed beet might be good. Some sugar and a few drops of lemon juice would help I think.
Goat cheese... I have no taste for it yet and will probably never acquire any.
But I loved the orange bits and wished there were many more of them.

Fourth Course – Mushroom & Mash Potatoes with Olives

This was my favourite. Because I love mushroom, and I love olives and I love potato. In any avatar.
A simple dish with just some salt for taste, without too much processing, without bells and whistles, subtle, mild and good.

Many Indians, whose taste buds, used to strong flavours and spice, would previously dismiss anything without enough chilli and tamarind, have, by now, I am sure, begun to wake up to mild, gentle and subtle tastes.

Five – Fresh French Surprise, Pineapple and Basil

Cooked or steamed pineapple. Tasty. The small folded slices with some filling inside are a fine idea. Perhaps slicing pineapple in an oblong way and not exactly horizontally will yield bigger slices and then one could do more with them.
The light yellow green paste on top of chopped pineapple was too sour and the dish could certainly do without it.

Fellow diners.

The lady to the right is Jelena, an Italian. Her take on the food, each dish, must be so different from mine. My mind recollects in a flash my own thoughts about westerners trying to assess Indian food : )

Six – Hazelnut & White Chocolate, Ice and Crispy Cappuccino

Service was really good.
Nevertheless, vegetarians, wherever they go, ought to do a double check, whenever they are served anything.