Who Are You?

Entry by: writerGAKBUVWUMQ

4th December 2014
Why I love foodcourts in Asia and hate British preciousness today. And sort of who I am therefore

When I go for lunch on a work day on my own I don’t want to buy into your brand. I don’t want to chatter in your homely teashop that you’ve put so much work into over the years, or enjoy your hilarious tea cosies. I don’t want to consider the calorific intake or skin benefits of what I’m eating. I don’t want to act a certain way, to adopt a behaviour or pose, or friendly, approachable face while I eat it either. I’m not saying I want to look angry or miserable – I just don’t want to think about what vibes I’m giving off at all - because it’s lunchtime, and I’m in the middle of my work, and I’ve only ventured out because the hunger pangs got too much to carry on, and I need sustenance to get through the afternoon’s work, but I don’t want to be distracted from my ideas, my trains of thought, into the world of fucking food marketing and people’s theme café dreams (these are in fact great at the weekend and on Bank Holidays and I could write an entirely opposite rant at these times, I expect)
All I want is some food, fresh cooked, whatever you have, hot, quick, in a cheap polystyrene container, maybe a thin rubber band round it, and a hot strong sweet coffee in a cheap little cup if that’s how it comes – I’m not going to enquire too closely because that thick fake cream stuff you use is pretty disgusting – but the end result tastes good, if a little bitter, and coupled with a cigarette covered in graphic diseases, you’re away, you’re set up, and there’s been nothing distracting and fake gone on – just the rice, the spinach the vegetables, the egg, whatever, I can’t even remember, but it’s steaming hot, pungent with ginger, strong with soy, intense with flavour, and what’s more I don’t even like food writing. It makes me think of an old man saying ‘creamy...’ in a plummy English accent which is something I never want to think about.

So, today, I am someone with strong opinions about lunch.

Now I want to get the hell off the page, but I feel like I should write some twist, some flourish, that pulls the whole thing together, that makes it seem like I haven’t just sat here and put on ‘paper’ my exact thoughts as I went to the pretentious supermarket at lunchtime and failing to buy a simple pack of sushi (sold out), got instead what was termed a ‘seafood bloomer’ in some psuedo-brown paper bag so it looked a bit sustainable but still had a plastic window so you could see the holier-than-thou multigrain or whatever sandwich sitting there in all its goodness. It did actually taste nice and killed my hunger and stuff, but I would have liked it more without knowing what it was called and inadvertently having had to hypothesise about what role it played in their lunchtime package of products.

Even if there was a foodcourt I could wander into from my office, just across the road or so, it wouldn’t be the same. It’d all be flat whites and skinny muffins and any simple sandwiches would have to be the ‘traditional’ choice and would have about a thousand calories in one bloody sandwich meaning your only option, knowing you’re going back to sit at your desk for the rest of the day, is to not have any dinner or stand in line to be a fat bastard.

Closest I’ve seen in this country (the UK if you were wondering, though you've probably worked it out from the spellings, but I’d be surprised if you’ve read this far) is the salad bar in Morrisons, and those vans you get on dual carriageways and the A1, where you can buy just a fried egg sandwich, and they’ll put some mushrooms in it if you ask them. I like that.