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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Surviving Capsule Re-entry and Likely Waterfront Murder

I'll just say it up front. Sadly, Auckland was pretty much a write-off, in terms of taking in some amazing touristy experiences.

The weather was shite, and QQ was under it. We had laundry to do, and the best course of action seemed to take a day off from prancing around Middle Earth, looking for a precious or two.

So that's what we did - regrouped a bit. I did strike out toward the waterfront to see what it was like, maybe grab a coffee but it was a real, working waterfront. Warehouses, cranes, and a few gumshoes in fedoras, either lighting a fresh cigarette, or dramatically putting one out.

There's no in between with a gumshoe.

I got more sub supplies - damn a sub hits the spot sometimes - enough food for breakfast the next morning and a few sammies to go.

I did have one fun experience going out for dinner. It looked like it was clearing, so I headed out to a little Korean place just down the street, half a block. (I reached it by going 20 minutes in the wrong direction, backtracking, and blaming Maps for my trouble. Don't tell Mrs. F.)

A Little Korean Place...
With a Little Korean Menu.
The server came over to take my order.

I dramatically lit a smoke, cocking my head to one side, and through a haze of blue said in a gravely voice, "I'll have the photograph of the Chicken (chili sauce) $14.50, please."

"Coming up."

I dramatically stubbed and field stripped my smoke (so that it would be harder to track me to Auckland.)

One of the great things about Korean food is that you get so many little dishes of pickles. You get kimchi, you get some of the squarey one, and you get some of the funky slicy one, at a minimum.

From the left, slicey one, squarey one, kimchi. The exotic looking dish in the center is a generous portion of a Korean delicacy - the individual kernels of 300 rice plants. It's called 'rice' or 'Rice'.
My food arrived very quickly and it was piping hot. I quickly lit a smoke (dramatically) and immediately stubbed it, flicking it into a distant spittoon with perfect aim.

No tricks or mirrors or camera effects - that is real chicken. And stunt steam.
Everything was just delicious. Talk about food to restore your soul and move you.

Oddly, it wasn't spicy enough. The kimchi had a nice kick to it, but I needed a bit more. Kim Flusher is pretty good at handling spicy, maybe even better than most when I'm in shape, but by no means will you find me on youtube gobbling ghost peppers and then sweating my eyes onto the table.

I found some likely looking red paste in one of the half dozen bowls at the side, and spooned some onto my plate. I tested it - no problem. I stirred a bit in to my food - no problem.

I ate it all up. No problem.

Hmmm. I found some finely chopped chilis in another bowl. I knew to be careful with these, so I took just a tiny end-of-a-spoonful and put just a bit into my bowl.

Then I separated one piece away - it was a little bigger than the other ones and easier to maneuvre.

Tested it.



Oh my God it was hot. Beyond hot. Inferno. I did the stupid thing and chewed it up, fast, adding rice, and swallowed it down.

Sure, I'll use a spittoon as soon as the next guy, but no way am I going to blat drop a chewed up half-load of chicken with chili death pepper.
My eyes ran and dropped onto the table. Water was at hand and I went at it. I also kept the rice coming, using it to scrub the charred surface of my tongue, which I now believed to look exactly like the bottom of a museum space capsule that has managed to survive re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere and its ensuing 196,000,000 degrees, if I remember my Astrology correctly.

I spent the next 20 minutes surgically picking out every last piece of that unsafe-at-any-speed death pepper, and feeling around for my eyeballs.

Somehow I managed to edge things back to where I could enjoy the rest of my meal, but it was a close thing.

In the end, I ate every bite, and counted it as a win. A great meal which I'd almost ruined, but then survived re-entry.

Good thing, too, because the next day, we would head to the Gold Coast.

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