Monday, 26 August 2013

Yes, We Have No Curry

Keep it coming!

But surely you miss having a decent pint of English beer, don't you? And then there's the question about how it must be hard not having BBC 1 to watch, or having no Sunday newspapers, just like we have back at home.
And so these are just some of the things which I'm often asked, by British  people,  since I arrived in Normandy all of those years ago.
And my response is always the same. Firstly, if you're talking about having a decent pint of Kronenbourg or ice-cold Heineken, just like you enjoy drinking back in dear old Blighty, you must consider, if your very small brain is able to consider anything, that Kronenbourg is French, and Heineken is about as English as the Great Wall of China. And as for the BBC - well, here's a great British institute which is rapidly falling apart, and has nothing better to offer us than Eastenders and Strictly Come Dancing. And as for the Sunday newspapers which we all love and adore...
But if one can live without television and newspapers, one thing which is sorely missed over here is Indian cuisine. There are no Indian restaurants in my part of the world, and although the thought of burning the roof of one's mouth with a vindaloo may seem a trifle strange, sometimes I just wish that I could get in my car, drive into town and satisfy my craving for all things hot and spicy.

Of course, the French do sell microwaveable curry meals, but these are about as appetising as sandpaper, and about as spicy as jelly babies. No, what I want is at least a decent vindaloo, with all of the wonderful things which should accompany a good curry. The owner of the Turkish restaurant which I sometimes use DOES have chicken curry on the menu, and to be fair to him, it's not that bad. However, there are no Indian-style side-dishes, and the interior of his hotel lacks the decor which makes an Indian restaurant what it is: huge brass elephants, images of the Taj Mahal and the traditional background music.

My wife, who is French, finds it difficult to understand why a man would want to put his body through so much agony, just to enjoy a good, spicy meal. However, this doesn't prevent her from occassionally cooking me a chicken curry, which I insist must leave my mouth burning with rage. At last, after several attempts, she has finally come to understand that spicy food will result in a happy husband, although I must admit that snails in garlic butter are also quite good.

So if you're (a) reading this, (b) very rich and (c) not quite sure what to do with your money, come over to my part of the world, buy a restaurant - there's loads of them up for sale - and turn what was once a crummy pizzeria into an Indian restaurant. And be assured that it WILL be a good investment, because I know of at least one person who will be wanting a table every Friday night.

And don't forget the bloody elephant and the Taj Mahal.

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