Review: Cooking tour with Marlene Van Der Westhuizen (Charroux)

This entry doesn’t really belong here I know. I wanted to post this review of Marlene Van Der Westhuizen’s Cook’s Tour on Tripadvisor, but sadly they don’t allow reviews of multi-day experiences and so my review was not approved. I am posting it here in the hope that it prevents other people from wasting a whole lot of money on what should be a “once in a lifetime” experience. It isn’t. It falls short in many ways.

If you have Googled Ms V D Westhuizen’s offering you will most likely have ended up on one of a handful of posts about it as she doesn’t seem to have a website of her own. You will most probably have read this or that – 2 positive, glowing posts that really blow smoke up her arse. After spending 2,500 Euros each on this experience I wish we had dined on home-made cassoulet with the neighbour, drunk Stellenzicht wine, gone snail “hunting” or learnt something about cooking. It seems things have certainly changed since these posts were written.

So without further ado here is what I thought about this “cook’s tour”…

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lying cheat (rant)

Previously I told you about a mobile car battery dude that comes to you and replaces your battery on-site.

I had the misfortune to have both cars die on me late last year (heat and sand and batteries not a good combination I guess) and he replaced them both. The one in my Suzuki has a 1 year warranty (haha) and the one in the Pajero only had 6 months.

Being the loving wife I am I took Stu’s car to work today so that I could fill the tank for him before he needs it tomorrow (he has been away on business) and lo and behold it died (again) on me.

So I called said battery guy, who arrived an hour later and replaced the battery (for a Saudi made one this time) and then coolly demanded 570 dirhams.

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fish finder to be

In this month’s Aquarius magazine – hmm or last month’s maybe (its a great mag btw) I read about this Fish Finder initiative by EWS (Emirates Wildlife Society) and the WWF. Essentially what it means is that after a half-an-hours training you become an official ambassador for EWS and are able to identify unsustainable fish on sale in the supermarket, and of course educate others about the “choose wisely” program (which you may have noticed I support whole-heartedly). I quite fancy the idea of getting to be all militant and bossy in Carrefour (haha). Anyway after volunteering for this I ended up as a volunteer in general for EWS – not a problem – and was invited to help at a talk this past saturday at the Sharjah Aquarium.


[the big tank]

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mobile car dude :-)

My car decided to give up the ghost this afternoon. Well actually it was the battery that gave up. I think the heat out here destroys them pretty quickly.

After waiting an hour for the roadside-assistance guy from the insurers (thank goodness I wasn’t still in Jozi) I consulted my dear friend google (thank goodness for mobile internet) and found, on expatwomen, the number for a battery dude.

And wouldn’t you know he and the insurance guy arrived within minutes of each other despite me telling the first not to bother after 80 mins had passed.


[Kuwaiti power]

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iphone 1 blackberry 0?

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority have handed iPhone users a reason to feel smug – Blackberry services (messenger, email and web browsing) will be suspended in the UAE from the 11th October, according to today’s sad news.

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Animal Rescue

If you would like to contribute a few dollars towards my TNR work with stray cats I would be most grateful

what you missed