Reading: The little coffeeshop of Kabul

the little coffee shop in kabul

I read the review of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul (originally published as A Cup of Friendship): A Novel a while back and picked this up recently, finishing it in two sittings. I couldn’t put the book down because it’s one of those novels where you’re chasing the plot.

It begins with a brilliant quote “Women are like tea bags, you never know how strong they are until they’re put in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Based on the real life anecdotal experience of Rodriguez who went to Kabul as a hair dresser peppered with fictitious characters and the coffee shop. What an experience it must have been volunteering herself and persevered in her request to tag along with the medical team headed to Kabul. After all, in times of war and adversity, women still needed something to look forward to.

It reminds me of the times when Vogue magazine gave so much little joy and inspiration to the otherwise dreary times of war. One of the characters also reminded me of a Chinese friend who spent the last two decades abroad is closer to her grandmother who grew up in glamourous 1920s Shanghai than to her parents who grew up during the communist era. It’s hard to imagine just a few decades ago women in Afghanistan were wearing mini skirts and enjoying the life like everywhere else around the world.

Once upon a time in my previous life, I also dated a medical student who’s goal was to join médicins sans frontiere and devote himself to making the world a better place with noble humanitarian missions.

A book he gifted me Emergency Sex (and Other Desperate Measures) a book on the love and life of UN aid workers was a great read – the kind of lives you read about but wouldn’t imagine living it out in real life and this book reminded me of the intensity of love, life and sex alongside the fragility of life with bombs blowing up in such close proximity, life is so much more simple yet complex at the same time with aid workers.

Anyhow, I digress too much. This is a brilliant read, celebrating generations of women of strong and different characters and solid friendships. Definitely read this book!

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