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  • Last week I was photographing Kalender Kebab, a local kebab shop, run by two Pakistani brothers for a small commercial assignment. The main point of the shoot was to advertise a dessert they had just introduced: the Choco Kebab, a sweet kebab-style wrap with white and milk chocolate plus whipped cream and syrup toppings in place of the typical meat, veggies and dressing. Upon finishing the shoot a man walked in, warmly welcomed by the owners.

    He was Italian, around 70 years old and smartly dressed in a suede jacket, neat shirt and dark trousers. He introduced himself as a friend, poet and counselor of the shop. I understood he is retired and spends most of his time at the shop, the two brothers keeping an eye on him. As soon as he knew of the shoot, he asked: "Have you read the poem I wrote for them?" I said no, so he begged me to wait: he'd run home to get it printed for me.

    He returned five minutes later with a piece of paper just out of a printer. It was an ode to the Choco Kebab. It reads something like this:


    It's the sweet, super sweet CHOCO KEBAB
    to Bite nice and slow the lovely
    smell in the air, in your mouth
    The sweet memory of you CHOCO KEBAB
    You are sweet, super sweet like blackberries

    I asked why he'd mention the blackberries at the end. He said: "I had it with blackberry syrup on top the first time. And keep the poem, I printed it for you."
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