A Day in the Big City
There is a not a great mix of ethnicities in our town. Most people are from the same ethnic background as we are. I imagine 98% would tick "white, British" on their census.
When we are out and about elsewhere, I catch my children staring at people who look different. That is what children do, in many situations, and it's often fine. They have also been known to ask loudly about why "that lady" is wearing a particular item of clothing, or ask about the colour of a man's skin. This is normal for children, however, we don't want them to constantly be shocked into silence whenever we leave home for somewhere like London, or Newcastle.
So, when the need arises for spices and rices, we head to west Newcastle for our favourite asian supermarket. It is such fun looking at wacky fruit and veg, huge bags of spices and dazzling number of different brands of Basmati rice. It is a great reminder to the kids that life in the UK is not really reflected in our town.
After that though (and this is the best bit), we head for the Persian Delight Restaurant a little further north. Each day of the week they serve one main dish. Since we always go on a Friday, we have only ever had the same dish. Lamb cooked with lots of lime, coriander and pink beans. A lovely bowlful with a huge side of rice. In addition to the dish of the day, they serve a variety of chargrilled meats, either with rice or GIANT flatbread. We asked for lamb chops for youngest. EIGHT arrived! And a similar quantity of chicken kebab for eldest! You may be surprised to know that they ate most of it...
Nick and I agreed that we would love to eat food like this every day. I remarked that it is similar, in some ways, to Colombian food. A bowl of something delicious, with other delicious things on the side, with lots of flavours playing with each other. When I lived in Bogota for a year I just loved going out for food because it was so delicious and so tasty. A big bowl of soup, with some rice, some fried plantain, baked, salted south american potatoes, an array of interesting raw veg salads, freshly squeezed juice of any fruit you can imagine. And street-food of charred, unidentifiable meat and offal-filled blood sausage, deep fried coconut chunks, hot cornmeal-arepas filled with melting cheese, obleas (circular wafers) with caramel and colombian cheese between them.
I love food, and decent english food is great, but we miss something of the incredible foods of other nations. Hence the joy of living near a big city and going to the Persian Delight and revelling in simple, delicious food from all nations.
Now I just need to find a Colombian restaurant in Newcastle...