Bagdad Cafe

“I… am calling you”… Jevetta Steele sings this haunting song… the theme to Bagdad Cafe, a co produced US/German cult movie made in 1987 (also known as Out of Rosenheim). If you don’t appreciate Harold and Maude… well, you just won’t get this either.

It’s a somewhat surreal comedy set in a down-at-heel truck-stop café and motel in the Mojave Desert. An ill-assorted cast of characters are assembled, including a plump German tourist (Jasmin) who has left her husband after a fight in the middle of the desert, the short-tempered owner of the café (Brenda) who has just thrown her husband out, Brenda’s two children (one being a brilliant pianist) and grandchild, a strange ex-Hollywood set-painter and a glamorous tattoo artist. Through a passion for cleaning and for magic tricks, Jasmin transforms the café and all the people in it.

While traveling Route 66… I happily came across Bagdad Cafe in Newberry Springs and I can tell you it was quite an experience. The two ladies running the place had both arrived there with me on their first day of work. The cafe has a pretty varied menu, including ostrich burgers, but I don’t eat red meat and about the only thing I could find was a hot, open faced turkey sandwich. After a few minutes of whispering between the two I listened to the cook on the phone with a third party, trying to find out how to make one. I overhead and said “I don’t know how to cook a thing but I do know how to eat” and I proceeded to explain how it was made and off she went. I did hear a few pans drop but I wasn’t worried. It came out just fine and I wolfed in down quickly. I left with a t-shirt, a big grin and a memory to laugh about. At home I keep my laptop in my oven…



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