A Taste Of Home – Part I

Last weekend, I was having some time off in Santiago, and I thought that now I’ve been in Chile for six weeks, it’d be nice to have some food from home.  Clearly, the only option was to get a Chinese and an Indian, which is exactly what I went to do.

Chile, not really having much experience in either Empire-building or Colonialism when compared to Britain’s efforts out in India and Hong Kong, has a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to foreign foods.  If you want your American fast food chains, then Santiago is full of them (McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Subway, etc. – although not that many Starbucks interestingly enough).

Anyway, yesterday was time for Chinese for lunch, so I duly went on a explore to find a restaurant.  Stumbling across one in a side street, I ventured in.

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The menu wasn’t especially diverse, and the classics that everyone has in the UK (such as sweet and sour/crispy duck) were conspicuous by their absence from the menu.  I went ahead and ordered some spring rolls, followed by “mixed rice”, and “Peking chicken”, which duly arrived nice and promptly.

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Peking chicken and mixed rice

It was nice, with a very generous helping of chicken, and at the end I was very full.  Overall, it was a solid meal, but I get the impression that foreign food here is more of a novelty, rather than something serious.  I guess it’s a bit like it must have been in the UK in the 70s.

Strange Dreams and a Restless Night

I didn’t sleep too well last night (see my previous post entitled “TKC” for an explanation), and now that I’m alone with my thoughts, one anonymous face amongst millions on the commuter train to London, I start to remember the dreams.  Those peculiar and illogical visions that plague, haunt, or delight us.  One can dream of one’s greatest desires and then be woken to discover that it was merely an illusion, eliciting sympathy for poor old Tantalus.

One dream involved a car hitting me, I survived and was unharmed, but my friends and I had a whip round to pay for the damage ($230 if I recall – definitely US$ not £).  Things then got out of hand for some reason (I think someone said something sarcastic), and we ended up in a strange version of the UL, pursued by the driver of said car who was angrily chasing us with a gun trying to shoot me.

The next dream involved me being in London, outside some church (a representation of Westminster Abbey perhaps?).  Anyway, if you said something of a seditious nature, bulbous lightning rods appeared on the walls and roof (they looked a bit like if a tesla coil met one of those springy wall mounted door stop things you get to stop the door hitting the wall), and produced an arc of light that made the nearest person disappear.  Testing this out, I stood well back, and said some things (of a seditious nature of course), and a couple of passers by got caught in the cross fire.  I became bolder and went closer, but it was too close!  I tried to dodge, but to no avail.  I was hit!  So what happened next I hear you ask?  Well, I was transported to the early 80s.  I guess it was a bit like the effect of those creepy weeping angels off Doctor Who mixed with Ashes to Ashes.  My first thought in the 80s?  “Hong Kong is still a British Territory, I could emigrate there much more easily now than in 2013!”.  Yes, quite…

Dream the third involved me being in a large tent (the setting of Downing May Ball now that I think about it), although I think it was supposed to be Hong Kong.  Anyway, someone there decided that I was to be quickly and efficiently disposed of, so there was a lot of me trying to evade death again…

The final dream involved me living and working on a building site with some friends.  We had a portacabin to live in, and one day I was the only person inside.  Anyway, someone came along to demolish it, so once more, I had to escape being killed.  Everything inside was destroyed, but I survived (along with my phone), so that was alright.

Psychiatrists, feel free to form an orderly queue…