Originally written: October 2006
Ach, the smell is everywhere! The greasy scent lingers like a bad fart. That wasn’t an elegant sentence but do bear with me, I’m about to OD on fish-n-chips.
Having lived in Monterey County, California and Seattle, Washington which are both by a body/bodies of water (the former to the Pacific Ocean and the latter to Puget Sound and Lake Washington), I’m not new to the popular surf-n-turf dish. In fact, it’s amongst my chronic cravings. Why then that now I’m in the land of fish-n-chips can I not abide it?
Battered white fish, deep fried until golden and crisp, served with potato slices fried in the same oil, rendered just as golden and brown, and everything splashed with malted vinegar. Mmm, good eats. Unless you eat it nearly everyday, then it isn’t!
So help me.
I admit I’m being a hypocrite. Left with a choice of fish-n-chips and butchered spaghetti bolognese and butchered moussaka on the dining menu. 99.7% of the time, I will opt for fish-n-chips. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
I can almost hear a maiden aunt who had a prominent presence in my childhood and was full of pragmatism, old wives’ tales (how apropos), and sagacity say, “Eat any more fish and you’ll start growing fins and a tail.” Her way of saying, don’t eat only one type of food. After all, variety is the spice of life.
As a kid, I’d have thought, “Cool! More fish! I want to turn into one!” Ah, come to think of it, and this is of course, hypothetical (and very weird), if I did turn into a fish due to eating lots of fish, would that in turn make me cannibalistic?
Pubs are in nearly every corner here. Can you imagine giving directions to wandering tourists, telling them that their destination is near a pub?
“The place you’re looking for is a couple of blocks away, that a way, love.” (Points towards the direction) “It’s besides a pub. Ach, I can’t remember the name o’ the place. But don’t worry, you won’t miss it. It’s right next to it, see. You’ll know when you smell them fish n’ chips in the air.”
Don’t take umbrage at my obvious expression of abject misery because my sense of smell and taste are under attack by the overwhelming fishy aroma thanks to surrounding fish-n-chips joints and pubs.
I’m hoping that soon the daily assailing of fishy odour will desensitize my olfactory sense therein leaving me to walk the streets of London free to experience other scents (unfortunately, in a large city, biological odour in the streets is easily experienced).
Thus I ought not detest you fish-n-chips. Because you are but a temporary blight to my sense of smell.