Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Finger dribbling fat and a diet coke please

To mark International Women's Day a local group - Pinoso against gender violence - organised a showing of a film, La fuente de las mujeres, which is about a group of North African women who, fed up of having to slog up a difficult path to collect water whilst their men folk sit around drinking tea, go on a sex strike until they get the water piped to the village.

The projector was one of those things you use to do a Power Point presentation so the image was small, very dark and affected by stray light. The sound wasn't great either so, although it seemed like a decent enough film, my understanding of the details of everything, apart from the main plot, was pretty rudimentary.

It used to happen to me as I wandered home up Huntingdon High Street and it happened to me tonight. Some sort of fat lust would draw me, inexorably, towards Bunter's. I fancied a kebab or kepab as we Spaniards usually say.

I'm not often in Pinoso at 11.30 on a Friday evening so I was a bit surprised at the long queue in the kebab shop at the bottom of Constitución and I went to the one in Colón instead. Even then I was, like Lady Louise Windsor, tenth in line.

In some ways it was just what I'd expect. The décor was characterless and basic. The man slicing the meat was a tad overweight, wore a striped fat stained shirt outside his trousers and had a close cropped haircut. His assistant was one of those young men best described as a youth. Spaniards were having trouble with his Spanish just as he had trouble with mine.

I've usually had my doners in versions of pitta in the shopping centre kebab houses I've been to here. When I asked for the 5.50€ Doner menu he waved hamburger rolls at me, which I declined. I realised I didn't have the faintest idea what the bread I wanted was called - neither pita nor tortita worked but, by a process of elimination, we got to a wrap. I thought the ones in wraps were called Durums but who knows?

Meat, if that's the right word for the stuff they put in kebabs, comes in either chicken or beef flavours - no lamb. I asked for beef but he gave me a mixture anyway which was what everyone else had asked for. It wasn't shaved into nice long slices, more torn into shreds. So the meat was spread on the circular wrap, the usual brown tinged lettuce and sad looking cucumber was loaded on. Sauce? Yes please, white and red sauces from those plastic bottles that make a sucking sound before they glug and spit - Chilli sauce? Yes please. That was squirted on with a flourish from at least a metre away then the whole thing was rolled very tight and wrapped in silver paper which proved remarkably effective at stopping all the filling from falling out as I ate. The chips got the same sauce treatment and, because I'm being careful about my weight, I asked for sugar free Coke.

The other diners were wearing coats because the door was open and it was only 3ºC outside, the lighting was fluorescent tubes. The table wasn't exactly clean, the plastic chair was very hard, the various coloured sauces oozed onto the polystyrene dishes through my fingers whilst the telly appeared to be speaking Turkish.

An authentic kebab experience.

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