Thursday, 11 June 2015

Overnight in Forest Row (& Good bye, Man with the golden gun)

It seems Christopher Lee died at the age of 93.  I definitely wasn't a fan but in retrospect can't imagine some films without him.  Yet another reminder: 
Do something with your life before it's your turn.

Back to reality: Checking into my hotel wasn't as easy as the previous post probably made it sound.

I left Gatwick Airport at 9 am (1 am Vancouver time) and arrived at the hotel at 11 am (3 am PST), where I was told that I couldn’t check in until 2 pm (6 am PST). I am not too happy with that because I got up in Vancouver at 6 am this morning and only slept 1.5 hours on the plane.  But there seems to be nothing I can do, so I cycle back the 4.5 km to East Grinstead where I spend 2 hours in a lovely pub recharging my laptop and bike battery, completing the previous post, and consuming 2 glasses of wine and a surprisingly good burger.
Khan on the left (not my pic)

When I finally check into my hotel at 2:15 pm (6:15 am PST), it only takes 15 minutes for me to fall onto the bed and fall asleep. 24 hours on my feet and biking 43 kms finally took their toll.  When I wake at 8 pm, I force myself to get up and take a shower, because to keep sleeping now means to be WIDE AWAKE at midnight.  My 9  pm question on the availability of food in the hotel’s pub is negated but the bar tender asks “Do you like Curry?”  So at 9:15 pm I'm sitting in a smallish but BUSY restaurant, Khans Balti. My initial question of whether I was too late for food is quickly answering by the owner clearing used tables in the restaurant and seating half of the restaurant with new 9 pm arrivals.  This place is POPULAR !!

I order a Lamb Tikka with rice and some white wine.  The white wine is good and the food arrives at 9:50 pm.   Maybe I ordered the wrong thing, or maybe I remember the very different lamb curries that the Libyan father of a friend with Danish-Libyan ancestry used to make, but the lamb is a bit tough, which contrasts sharply with the oh-so-tender pieces of lamb in Mirza’s curry that fell apart if one only looked at them.

not my picture
Anyway, I REALLY should not complain.  Imagine an accumulation of about 5000 residents in Canada. What kind of restaurant would be associated with that population centre and what would be its hours of operation?  You get my drift …  

But it’s nice to see the 30-40 year old owner of the restaurant hear shaking the hands of his village regulars when they leave.  While the American Dream has been exposed as a capitalist plot to get the most out of your dish-washing personnel ages ago, the British Dream actually seems to be working !  

I get more wine and chocolate at a TESCO gas station store that is open after 10 pm ! (Remember the size of the town. This apparently where the town's youth hang out after dusk.  At 11:15 it is time to hit the very comfortable bed again !

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