Wednesday, 20 October 2010

On the Spectrum: The Red Bamboo inn

On the Spectrum: The Red Bamboo inn: "The Red Bamboo inn A tube inserted in my gullet would have had a more intricate palette than that of the “Red Bamboo Inn.” Supposedly a Ch..."

On the Spectrum: Without it, we're a walking apocalypse.

On the Spectrum: Without it, we're a walking apocalypse.: "Would we be a lost society without our pocket’s best friend? Picture, if you will, a week without your mobile phone and the notion of surv..."

Without it, we're a walking apocalypse.

Would we be a lost society without our pocket’s best friend?

Picture, if you will, a week without your mobile phone and the notion of surviving without one. How could you reply to those texts? Those calls from friends and your boss? Meetings written in your organiser, alarm clock non existent, portable camera no longer at your side...? All sounds a bit catastrophic doesn’t it? And now picture everyone without a mobile phone. Does the image of a global apocalypse spring into mind?

Without this handy pocket sized gadget, humble slave to our daily communications and plans, we would all be in a not so pocket sized muddle. But, perhaps we are the humble slaves to the mobile phone? Almost everyone has one, it’s every 11th birthday surprise. These small gizmos allow us to communicate with whoever we want, be it friends or an unknown stranger from the other side of the world. It, clearly, is an addiction we cannot afford to give up.

In emergencies, its glowing screen can provide a light source and set off loud noises to alert people. Technically, it is society’s saviour in many ways. We have, without a doubt, become dependant on the slither of metal we keep tucked in our jeans, but perhaps our loyal dependency has become far too exaggerated? These days, we hear people joking about how parents will call their children via mobile, simply to ask them a favour, when they happen to be in the same house! Oh yes, because walking a flight of stairs is far too much effort nowadays. We even use text language in our written work without even realising. Is the mobile phone simplifying our lives too much? Surely there is a point where we hang up this addiction before it gets too in sane? Sure, a little simplicity in life is greatly appreciated and often desired by those with hectic lifestyles, but if mobile phones begin to aid in sloppy laziness, such as not even bothering to communicate with your children face to face then I’m tempted to limit my usage quite frankly! Whatever you choose to decide, be it limit your usage as well or think this is utter nonsense and return to texting your best mate, be wary. Mobile phones sure are handy but they are not the answer to all your organising and communication problems. Climb some stairs, visit your parents in person, make an effort and feel better about not being such a technologic junkie!

By Warlix ©

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Red Bamboo inn

The Red Bamboo inn

A tube inserted in my gullet would have had a more intricate palette than that of the “Red Bamboo Inn.” Supposedly a Chinese restaurant, (though the food would only be appreciated by malnourished zoo animals) is bashfully seated between a group of pubs and a supermarket. You’d think the people would be pouring in like starving scarabs on a flesh hunt…no, not quite the case.

When I sat myself down with a few friends to enjoy a drop dead delicious Chinese meal, I naively assumed I’d get exactly what I came in for. The internal exterior itself was so deviously designed; laid with gold plated borders, eye melting paintings and red velvet napkins that we were completely misled into thinking “Wow, this food is going to be fab!” How wrong I turned out to be.

For the first course we were served with what appeared to be sallow sewage, with sweetcorn shells bubbling on the top. Well, not being one to judge things by appearance, I took my shot at it and gave it a taste. The verb “taste” is probably an insult to every flavour known to man. It was like buttery water textured with a grainy sugar I couldn’t quite place. I’m sure the menu said there was chicken in there somewhere too. (Couldn’t finish to find out in all honesty.)

After chugging down the pineapple juice to give my taste buds something to do, we were then served with the second course. Duck pancake; a common delicacy in the Chinese cuisine, and widely enjoyed by most. This duck, however, resembled pencil shavings arranged on a nest of onions and wasn’t exactly warm either. My friends held their breath and gave it a try. They liked duck more than I did. Their faces occasionally scrunched up as they fought back the urge to spit out cubes of gristle in the nearest compartment.

Officially put off, I decided to indifferently nibble on a floppy pancake, which, ironically, also tasted of nothing.

“Never had I been disappointed with the quality of a bean sprout before!”

About 15 minutes later the main meal arrived, arranged on one of those spinning plates that everyone looks forward to when going to a Chinese restaurant. If it were any other restaurant, I’d be giving the plates a twirl and forking back all the food I could catch in fast rotation. Yes…if it were any other. The Cantonese chicken tasted more like rubber gloves with yet another sugary sauce slopped on top of it. The sickly sweet, red muck was coated to such a density, an iceberg would probably be easier to chew. There was also a lemon chicken, which should have been renamed “Overpowering zest that masks any trace of chicken,” and then of course other dishes like rice (which was probably the only nice thing there) and bean sprouts. Never had I been disappointed with the quality of a bean sprout before! They were more like cold, grey, slithery worms jostling about in their own juices. They weren’t so easy on the throat either, not that I dared to try another mouthful.

Thankfully, the nightmare was soon to end! We were given boiling hot wash cloths, which began to look temptingly delicious, (I had reached the brink of insanity by this point) and then served with a stubborn “can’t cut me if you tried” banana fritter. The sugary sauce clearly couldn’t get enough of us tonight. More sugar, childishly clinging to a crunchy batter with a slosh-brownish banana wedged inside it, sitting lopsided in a bowl. I decided to be the brave one and take the first bite. Curse my courage. Not only did my tongue catch fire, but also felt like it was going to fizz with the sweetness overkill. I dropped it back into the bowl; the banana making a stomach-clenching squelch noise at it slapped the sticky pool below it.

“Bill please” was then declared after 3 minutes of attempting to make peace with the reluctant fritter. The gentleman, who, bless him, was a nice enough man and had one of those “Like me or I’ll cry right now” faces asked if I wanted the rest wrapped up for later. Oh god I thought. Be polite and say yes or be honest and say no. In the end, I trudged on home, carrying a bag of food I didn’t even want, with my tummy throwing a hunger tantrum.

The leftovers finally served a purpose in my dog’s dinner bowl and when I came down the next morning to check, the cold fritter and Cantonese chicken was still there, feeling utterly rejected. Perhaps even zoo animals would rather opt for their own arm?

By Warlix ©
NOTE: Although the events were factual the title of this restaurant is fictional for privacy purposes. Futhermore, I love Chinese food. Not this Restuarant.