Dinnertime at the Peace Hotel finds the chef, immaculate in white hat and freshly pressed apron, waiting personally on his guests. He serves up a feast of curried fish fillet, french fries, camel meat and spaghetti with ground beef, washed down with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, cold sodas and bottled waters. Dessert is a bowl of fruit accompanied with hot sweet, milky tea. The palm trees that sway in the salty sea breeze all around us do little to reveal the improbability of this sumptuous meal tranquilly consumed in this city whose name has become a synonym for anarchy. The reminder that we are in Mogadishu rather than in a beach resort in Mauritius comes in the form of the artillery shells and mortar rounds that whiz above our heads like red shooting stars, and the sound of gunfire and screaming from nearby Bakara Market.