Malika's off-the-grid spot is a welcome rest stop for a variety of travellers, who come not just for the food but to share their stories. (Another fixture of the café is Mimi, Malika's beloved cat.) Religion, the economy, politics, family — Malika listens, interjects, and absorbs. And when her guests inevitably leave, there's a sense that the café has expanded to hold their memories. But Malika's kingdom — she is the ruler of what might be reductively dubbed a "no-man's land" — isn't immune to the march of socalled progress: a petrol station is to be built next door.