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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: UK Visit to Curry Mile

That Kid could sure eat
David Russell

We were headed from Los Angeles to Islamabad, Pakistan, with a planned stop in Manchester, England, to share a long weekend with our daughter Mara, living in Scotland and our granddaughter, Rebecca Faye Russell Smith, a lot of names for a three and-a-half year old. Half hour after arriving at our hotel, the Scots arrived. Sleepily. A quick kiss hello, quick kiss goodnight and we all crashed, totally wiped. Us from our 15 air travel hours, they from their all day train trip from Glasgow. Next morning’s breakfast was our catch up target.

Planning to stoke up for a projected very loaded day, we sipped our orange or grapefruit juice, filled and emptied plates of scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, wiping them clean with wheat toast. Hot beverages followed, Becky’s plate was cleanest.

Like tourists, we visited nearby Liverpool, home of the Beatles, then drove slowly through their Wild Park Safari. As in Africa. the animals: deer, ostrich, lions, monkeys, wallabies, pheasant, baboons, rhino, elephants, yak, camels, buffalo and peacocks, all roamed free. while we were locked in our car "cage" with windows closed, especially with monkeys were hopping on our "bonnet" and ostriches pecking our windows.

At the end of that rather full day, including a light snack, we parked for dinner on Manchester’s famed Mile of Indian Rushholme restaurants, where a group of passing American’s helpfully recommended Durbar, a Curry Contest Winning Restaurant.

Durbar was perfect, living up to its reputation, heaping us with huge portions of Curried Lamb, Prawns "swimming" in spicy sauce, Chicken in its own sauces, plus plate after plate of Chipati (Nan), the Indian griddled fried bread. From birth little Rebecca had been an eater, a trier of all foods. To look at her model-like svelte 15 year old self today, one would never know this was the same child who not only ate adult sized portions of every dish, but stuffed herself with at least three pieces of Nan. And dessert.

Driving back to our Motel, we slowed for every turn just in case, but like her Mom, beautiful Rebecca had a cast iron stomach. Obviously, the night before feast did little to inhibit our breakfast Appetites as we again juiced, filled plates with Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Sausage, then with toast, wiped them clean. For the second day running, Becky’s plate was again, the cleanest.

On our final visit day, we toured the heart of Manchester, one store after the other; making small purchases, with our major Rebecca buy being a Manchester United Jersey.

Still digesting breakfast and with the promise of dinner in Chinatown, lunch was American style at a nearby McD. My wife had her usual, small Salad and Diet Coke. My daughter and I ordered the new Chicken Breast sandwich and Iced Tea. Becky had the full enchilada, a big Mac, Fries and Lemonade. Renewed, we again attacked the shops, till we all agreed a wee bit of nap would be nice.

After a horizontal two hours at the hotel, we headed out for dinner.
Courtesy of a Manchester map, we worked our way to Chinatown. Manchester’s Chinatown rivaled its street of Indian restaurants. So, we easily found a table at one that looked appetizing. And was cost effective, feeding us all for $50.00 US; the dollar being strong at the time. An aside? Have you ever been to a city, big or small, town or village anywhere in the world where there was no Chinese Restaurant? Many even served recognizable Chinese food.
Our dishes were indeed recognizable and veddy tasty. Of course. an English Tap Ale was a great addition. Then they came, large bowl after large bowl with portions of Shrimp in sweet and sour sauce, Lo Mein Noodles and Chinese greens, very gingery Ginger Beef, Apricot-flavored Chicken, finger sized pieces of Barbequed Pork, with bowls of both Fried and White Rice and special for Becky, a bowl of Egg Drop Soup.

A true trencher, she. Rebecca lived up, bite by bite, to the title of this tale; just one of many Rebecca food tales. There’s that one where I ordered Mussels and she ate more than I did. But that’s another story for another visit to the life of Rebecca Faye Russell Smith. Now a High Schooler in Bethesda, Maryland. Becky, (excuse me!) Rebecca, will probably never share this story with her friends.

© David Russell May 2009

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