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Piece vs. Peace


I looked at the crispy golden brown piece of fish that was nearly camouflaged by equally crispy golden brown French Fries. Now calling them French Fries is a jailable offense in England. They will remind you at every possible moment that they are not French fries. They are chips. What are chips in England? They are called crisps here. They called the crispy brown fish that was in front of me "fish" although due to its size and non-stick shape, I had easily deduced it was whale, or perhaps some dinosaur. But I have been eating processed fish in America nearly my whole life and I know for a fact that  fish is square, or in stick form, and in no way in any shape of what used to be a fish.

The meat of the fish was soft, and considering its origins as whale or possible dinosaur, very easy to chew. It did however lack taste. I put some tartar sauce on it, and that only helped toad to the the mass I was eating and did very little for the taste. I tried the mushy green peas. They were good. The tasted like mint and far better than normal peas.  However there was very little of them and  when I was done eating them it left nothing with taste to eat. I was starting to see why British cuisine was not something well known outside the United Kingdom. It seemed the object of British cuisine is to put the eater asleep or as a form of "enhanced interrogations".

This explains why the British at one point sought out to bring the whole world under its benevolent control. They were hungry, and not for power or resources, but for delicious food. One only needs to go to Drummond Street to see the success of this endeavor. When you first set foot on the street your eyes and ears are overwhelmed with the sights and sounds of India and Pakistan.  Convenience stores are not decked out in"Sports Illustrated covers and Skittles (This incidentally should be a jailiable offense) but rather the soft, comforting view of the latest Bollywood starlets on magazines and the smell of delicious Indian snack foods inside.  Of course after the mishap with the  fish and chips I was honed in on deciding which Indian food restaurant to eat at. My father was born in India , and while I was born in America, the smell of Indian food triggers a pavalonian response that makes me focus solely on the source of the Indian food. I ignore other things, other stores (although my mind interestingly made a note a west Caribbean restaurant) , oncoming traffic and there futile attempts to get my attention by honking on their horns, and other needless distractions.

When I sat in there I noticed a table had both Londoners of Pakistani and Indian extraction sitting with each other. If they were arguing, which according to the all knowing western press  is the only things Pakistanis and Indians do, then it was about the relative merits of Chelsea Football Club (calling it a ‘soccer' club is a hanging then burning offense in England)  versus  the relative merits of  Arsenal Football Club. I was prepared to step in and be the peacemaker in this dispute and point out it was futile to have this debate because both teams, when compared to Manchester United, have no actual merits. Yet this conversation continued. Voices were not raised. Faces were not contorted. The whole idea of Pakistanis and Indians hating each other with centuries of bad blood, was in fact disproven.  While my stomach growled in anticipation of the food, the people sitting near me continued their civil discussion blissfully unaware that they both should be killing each other.

This led me to wonder, after I was done eating of course, if these Pakistanis and Indians can get along, Why can't Indians and Pakistanis do the same in their home lands? The answer is simple. There is no real need for the governments to make peace. Commerce between the two countries will proceed as normal regardless of the threats of impending nuclear holocausts. What will disappear is high profile visits from EU leaders, sweetheart deals from the United States, and all the side financial benefits that come from making scores and scores of committees on both sides to solve the problem.

  Look at any professional peacemaker and you will see someone who lives a life of first class airplane trips, speaking fees that bring in more per speech than most Americans make in a year, and four star hotels. I truly doubt Tony Blair or Bill Clinton can fully understand the living conditions of people on either side of the Kashmiri conflict from their four star penthouse suit in Bombay or Islamabad. I doubt Jimmy Carter has turned down a speaking fee in his effort to get another Nobel Peace Prize. I know for a fact that none of the members on the UN special committees that have been trying to solve the Cyprus dispute between Turkey and Greece has ever turned down their salaries due to any lack of progress in twenty five plus years. Nor have their researchers, drivers, maids, or free tuition to New York City's finest private schools for their children ever been canceled.

It is time for the Tony Blair's of the world to retire. Go play golf. The British government would do far more in bringing peace in the world by building good restaurants where all these people who are supposed to be hating each other can sit ,eat, and realize how much they have in common over a shared bowl of Bhel Puri, Falafel, or even some delicious Greek or Turkish food. The people of these countries have far more incentive, from not having to eat fsh and chips to not seeing another grandchild die during election time , and are far more likely to be successful. I will be at Drummond Street waiting.

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Fabulous post - loved it

Fabulous post - loved it from start to finish! m