The New York Times
Just opposite the Blue Mosque, for instance, there is a place called the Pudding Shop, a restaurant and garden and meeting place where a youthful traveler might negotiate a ride in the 1970’s to Afghanistan or Nepal. The Pudding Shop, they used to say, marked the start of the ”hippie trail” that led many young Americans and Europeans east. Land of Quick Changes But these days the Pudding Shop, which is run by the Colpan family, resembles more a fast-food outlet than a gateway to nirvana. Since last month its menus have been posted on back-lighted plastic displaying such dishes as eggplant and minced meat. The garden has been covered over. The travelers, since the revolution in Iran and the Soviet sweep into Afghanistan, have abandoned the traditional route to the east, and so the Pudding Shop’s history is recorded only in a plastic sign that calls it world famous and a notice board that used to bear messages from distant places in Nepal and India. Now its messages are mostly in German. ”I was here,” one says, ”where were you?” It was signed Helga.