Friday, August 15, 2008

Cheap, Used And Not Like A Sri Lankan Man

Was how it made me feel.


Well lately I've been on a bit of a health drive. Nothing drastic, I'm not doing marathons, or Snickers as they're now called, I'm not going to the gym every day or doing anything overboard. All I'm trying to do is to eat a bit healthily and do lots of sit ups every day.

One of the good things about playing the drums is that it keeps up the old cardio vascular stuff quite a bit, though I must confess that I haven't really got a clue what that means. I do know it sounds impressive.

This eating thing is just common sense really. I'm trying to cut down on quantity, you know, only have three servings of rice instead of five. I'm trying to eat just one sandwich at lunchtime and I'm trying to savour and enjoy every mouthful of food. This is a useful tip that I read somewhere. We often stuff our faces and don't think about what we're eating, resulting in eating more, just because we haven't thought about and cherished the taste of the food.

There's only so much cherishing you can do with a Tesco sandwich but I'm sure you get the point.

And one of the eating things I'm doing, honestly this really is true I promise you, is to try to eat some, ahem, salad. There, I've said it. I know what these fellows who come out must have to go through.

I should explain for those who don't know or aren't familiar with the concept.

Salad is a mix of vegetables eaten by white people and women. It consists of vegetables, usually crispy ones, served raw and cold. There are no spices, no chilli powder, no curry leaves and no carbohydrates involved.

The health implications of eating salad are disastrous and serious. It can make you slim, totally without paunch, it can give a glow to your complexion and reduce cholesterol. Often when you eat it you don't even feel all bloated and full up afterwards. People have been known to eat a salad and then work, instead of sleeping. It's so deadly that advertising of any saladey type stuff is banned in Sri Lanka, a country respected internationally for its approach to banning things.

There I was at lunchtime in my local Tesco, though the word local is quite relative I know. When these blokes come to terms with their sexuality and go to a gay club for the first time they probably feel like I did as I browsed the salad section. I kept a low profile as I furtively glanced at vegetables and green things. There were a couple of times when I could feel panic and fear building up within me. I dealt with this by dashing over to the meat section and browsing at sausages, chops, chicken legs and steaks. Each time the smell of vegetables got too much a quick walk to the comfort of one of the meat aisles sorted me out.

Being the adventurous type I decided to really go for it as far as the choice of raw, and I mean raw, materials for my evening salad was concerned. Throwing caution to the wind, something I usually have a lot of, I went a bit wild, a little bit mad and totally reckless.

I bought some of those tomatoes and half a cucumber. Do vegetables begin with a capital letter? Mmmm I'm not sure.

I bought a pack of sliced ham, (honey roast no less) and some cheese with blue bits in it. People would look at me strangely, I was possibly going to bring shame on my family, but I was ready. I did ask the lady at the checkout if she could hide the things in an Ann Summers bag but she couldn't help me on that one.

That evening I went home. The short drive was filled with feelings of nerves and excitement. I knew what I was going to do, I knew that I'd go through with it but a first time of doing anything is always nerve wracking and angsty and usually quite adrenalin fuelled.

I watched a bit of Walker, Texas Ranger to help fire me up and get motivated. It did the trick and I went into my kitchen to "cook". I sliced green things, I sliced red things and chopped chunks of cheese. I rolled up slices of the honey roast ham and splashed a dollop of mayonnaise. It was done through a barrage of vegetable and watery odours, overpowering at times. The dreadful smell of the cucumber, that green and light stench, the juiciness of the tomatoes.

To tell you the truth I was sorely tempted to chop some onions and fry them up with a bit of garlic, mustard seed, curry leaves and chilli powder just to get rid of the salad odour that would hang around for days afterwards. I didn't though. I kept strong and resolute knowing that a lesser man would have fled the scene. Chuck Norris can influence a chap like that. It might be the beard.

Eating the salad was easy. I did it with the deft touch of a wannabe Hollywood starlet who hadn't eaten anything but salad or sperm for years. Half a slice of cucumber, a bit of ham, some mayo, then bang, in my mouth. The next mouthful would be different combination of things and there were some points when I thought it tasted quite nice. I had succumbed to my Sri Lankanness slightly and grated some salt, pepper, chilli and garlic onto the plate.

Before I could say "king prawn vindaloo, mushroom rice, brinjal bhaji and a plain naan" I was finished. There was a small pool of watery stuff left on my plate. I guess white people keep that in a small container in the fridge and use it in a sandwich the next day or something. I threw it away defiantly.

Five minutes after eating and clearing away the evidence I felt empty. Not in a deep and thinking way, I mean in a hungry way. When I used to smoke I'd occasionally have a cigar and as soon as I'd finished it I'd want a cigarette. That's how I felt. Not that I wanted a smoke, but I wanted a rice and curry, or even a burger and chips. Something involving carbohydrates, heat, meat that I had to chew and more salt than the Red Sea at the very least.

I knew I wasn't really hungry, that my mind was going through some sort of illusion. Perhaps it was like Walker Texas Ranger when he gets shot and doesn't show any sign of pain. Maybe my special talent is to be able to stuff my face with green and red crispy grass, water and leafy flavoured crap and to not feel the faintest glimmer of repleteness. If David Blaine can make all that money from just holding his breath underwater for a minute or two then I could make millions from this I thought.

What is all this about though? To eat a meal, to know that I'd eaten a fair good plateful of stuff and then to sit there and not feel bloated as if I was fifteen months pregnant, to not feel as if I need a sleep. It's just mad, it's kind of why you never meet someone who smokes those herbal "no tobacco" cigarettes, and I'm not talking about Java's ones here, I mean the ones you get in health shops.

I sat and waited, thinking loving thoughts about the Indian takeaway at the end of my road. If my doorbell had rung I'm sure that the walk to my front door would have been all the impetus I needed to go that extra bit and walk to the Indian. Sadly the bell remained silent. I might buy some batteries for it soon, though I never get any visitors so there's not much point.

Nothing happened. The world didn't change and I woke up the next morning ravenous. I felt cheap and used, a bit dirty and ashamed.

Every meal since then has been full of badness and full of flavour. I'll just do more situps.

I'll probably eat another salad sometime. The desire to be like one of them will overwhelm me. But, until then I remain a good old fashioned Sri Lankan salad dodger.

And proud of it.


Dinidu said...

You had me worried there... Salads are aweful things, unless they have some form of dead animal in it...

Anonymous said...

'Eating the salad was easy. I did it with the deft touch of a wannabe Hollywood starlet who hadn't eaten anything but salad or sperm for years.' - This line really cracked me up!
Besides, judging from your pics you don't really need to go on a diet!
Tanya J.

David Blacker said...

Excellent one, RD, thanks. I must admit that living in Germany kinda converted me to salads (or at least the ex's threats did), and now that I'm back in SL, I still have a salad every fortnight or so. Of course I eat my salad at the cricket Club, which serves a salad with huge penne pasta in it, along with corn (i draw the line at the beans) and tuna mixed with half a liter of cocktail sauce. They'll also add in bacon bits and grated cheese as a topping if you ask for it (which I do). Now that's a salad.

janusis said...

I remember what my boss calls salads:
Rabbit Food.

You'll need to be the size of a rabbit to get full on one..

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Dinidu - I know. They should be banned.

David - Thanks. With penne pasta, bacon bits, cocktail sauce and cheese! tht's not a salad, it's a tiny bit of garnish with some meat and pasta!

Janusis - Exactly. Who wants to be a rabbit eh?

Scrumpulicious said...

Salads are one of the banes on a woman's life!

Seriously - they suck! However chicken caesar salads are nice but that's probably coz of the chicken! :)

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Tanya J - Why thank you kindly!

Scrump - Aren't women supposed to like salads?

Anonymous said...

caesar salads are as calorific as a something you d eat with joy like a snickers bar.. its a total myth that they are actually good for you.

Soixante Neuf said...

Women do NOT all like salads. I tried. And failed. Much like you ;P

Fabulous article. I was shaking with silent mirth in front of my computer at work. Every now and then I'd let out a loud guffaw and that was embarrassing. Still, it was worth it :)

But I have to ask- what IS it with men and Chuch Norris??

Akash said...

Salads....I honestly do wonder how the hell these people are eating that...without any it....but then again i am a Sri
But when I was in Zurich I had something from the hotel menu..and it tasted awesome..When I asked the lady...??????? salad..came the anwer...

Java Jones said...

I usually put in a few varieties of lettuce (Rocket, Iceberg, Catalogna, etc), some cherry tomatoes, chives, parsley, celery, slices of fruit, avocado - and then add something like ham or bacon bits,some nuts and a generous quantity of olive oil, pepper and salt. Fortunately all the greens are organic and from the garden at Flowerbook.

Check it out!