Away from home comforts, the fitted kitchen and the ceramic tiled bathroom, food becomes a focal point on one’s travels
What are we going to eat?
What have we just eaten?
A place to stop is often determined by the range of food available in a town and the ambiance of the restaurants. All within strictly determined budgets of course.
A plate of chips (french fries for American readers, and pommes frites for the French) becomes a standard bearer. How many on a plate? How well cooked are there? Are they better or worse than those eaten at another restaurant?
How quick is the service?
And is the water filtered or boiled?
Such basic questions are of great significance, especially as the digestive process proceeds. Between gastronomic halts are a succession of snatched snacks taken at wayside stalls. Or perhaps in a dark cave of seeming illicitness where a dimly seen figure clothed in browns, greys and blacks to match the walls boils up a mixture approximating to a menu item. His stove a wood fire of thick acrid smoke or a gleaming brass contraption fuelled with kerosene in need of constant pumping.
Habitat it ain’t.
So the stomach grumbles, loudly with urgency or softly or silently with vague murmurings. Never still, it’s a constant reminder of all the repasts that pass – and sometimes repass – the taste buds.