There are many things that I miss about Britain, not least of which is the food. I am delighted that I can now buy many things here at various specialty stores that other wise would cost me an inordinate amount of money to import. Other things, like for instance, Bisto Chip Shop Curry instant granuls my mother brings to me on her yearly visits, and she brings them in such quantities that it sustains me through the year. Every now and then, like this evening I make myself a plate full of chips (french fries) and pour over a jug full of Bisto Chip Shop Curry sauce and indulge, immediately I am transported back to another moment in time.
It is 11pm, I have just left “The Bop” (the club aboard any and all military establishments that I served at) and slightly woozy from the booze that I have imbibed I wander, as do all of its patrons to “The Oggie Wagon” a mobile food truck that has been enterprising enough to get a permit to set up outside the club to serve food to its patrons at closing time. It is freezing, the coat I wore to the club is no help to warm against the frigid nighttime temperatures. The menu on the wagon is scrawled on a white board attached to the side of the truck, cheeseburgers, bacon burgers, bacon sandwiches, and always my favorite curry and chips.
Hands stuffed in coat pockets we shuffled up the queue, shivering and waiting until we could order our food. Breath was visible as we stood in the queue, as we chatted about what had gone on in the club. “Did you see that X was dancing with Y Oh my god”.
“Curry and chips please” you ordered as you thankfully got to the front of the queue. You handed over the money and in return was handed a steaming and hot to the touch styrofoam container weighed down with freshly cut chips slathered in “chip shop curry” sauce. A sauce unto its own, “chip shop curry” sauce is unlike any other, it has a mild, curry like flavor, and it may, on a very rare occasion, contain the occasional rasin which gives it a modicum of authenticity, for the most part though it is a curry flavored gravy, which turns chips into soggy, curry flavoured morsels that are a delight.
I remember walking back to Wrens Quarters with my styrofoam container, shoveling fork fulls of curry smothered chips into my mouth and thinking that it was the best thing I have ever eaten. Ever. Because when you are slightly drunk, and starving at 11 oclock at night, whatever you are eating is the best thing you have ever eaten ever. I am sure that this is true for whatever people eat when they are thrown out of the club at whatever time of night it is, whatever they can find to eat at that time of night is the best thing they have ever eaten ever. But chip shop curry sauce over chips is still the best thing in the world.