Day 314 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

You know it doesn’t take much to make your life more interesting, does it? I made a snap decision to accompany my husband Geoff on a trip to a nearby suburb where he has his hair cut. It’s only a ten minute drive away but people do not generally want to go and visit this suburb of Brisbane. No. They are usually trying to escape it!

Geoff in Min-Oushy: Lebanese delights

However, I know better than this as I once worked there and I also know the delights that this interesting multi-cultural (but lower class) suburb holds. And so it was that after I had met Geoff’s Lebanese hairdresser for the first time and chatted to him about my own part in the Lebanese culture via my mother, I went to look around the shops while the haircut took place.

But do you know what really lured me to go to Woodridge with Geoff? Food! Yes, that’s right folks; it was ‘The Lure of Food’. In my mind, I could picture myself sitting in the Lebanese cafe – called Min-Oushy – having lovely coffee and eating baklava in various shapes and sizes, at a fraction of the cost you would find at any other suburb.

And so it happened as planned. However, after the coffee we thought we should take a look around at the Indian store next door which is packed to the rafters – I mean literally packed to the rafters – full of produce, spices, pots and even fresh taro. Who knew what we might find there?

We did however, find enough spices, pickles and paneer to make a vegetable biryani for tea that night! I might add that our tongues are still burning from the effects of the chilli within the packet of spice mix. We did have the good sense however, not to add the extra chilli that they suggested on the packet. Phew … thank God for that!

Geoff in the Indian shop

Now, all this brings me to reiterate that it is often the lure of food that makes or breaks an outing, have you noticed this? For instance, when Geoff and I ate lunch on the mountain top on the Isle of Capri in Italy, the meal there was so disappointing (mine looked like lizard tail risotto) that when we talk about this beautiful place we cannot help but mention the “horrible meal.”

And so when we visited Woodridge, we knew from previous experience that the food would be good and we were not disappointed …  but sometimes the opposite thing happens. You visit an awful looking place and then experience the best food you have had in a long time. This has happened to us plenty of times and it is always a a lovely surprise when it does.

This leads me to the last section of my Travel Journal – the good things – which I promised you today. The thing is, a lot of it is about food and I had not realised this until yesterday! Food, whether we like it or not, plays a huge part – for my family at least – in whether we enjoy ourselves or not. See what you think in this last section of my Journal:

” … But then, there are times, when you are driving along in the heat of the day and you see an amazing view as you come over a rise – green fields as far as the eye can see and mountains tinged with purple.

Or you may decide on morning tea at the next little town and happen upon a picnic area right on the banks of yet another large river. You make tea from your flask and then munch on the home-made biscuits you bought at a little cafe in ‘Woop Woop’ and you can hardly believe your good fortune to find wonderful home-baked goods ‘just like Mother makes.’

The Mt. Garnet Pub experience!

Other times, you may decide to buy lunch instead of making your own sandwiches and you find a tiny town which does not even possess a cafe, so you head for the pub (there is nowhere else!) which says “counter meals” and you have the experience of a life-time.

Not only is the pub unique with ornaments on the walls but the occupant of the pub are unique also – especially the barmaid. You raise your eyebrows at each other wondering what in the name of goodness you may get at such a place. Then, to your complete amazement, they serve you the best hamburger you’ve had in ten years – with a real meat rissole.

You take a photo of the pub – inside and out – just to capture the experience!

You know, you come away from these experiences and laugh about the incongruity of it all. Looks never do count. The thing to remember is this: you have to take the good with the bad. You can trust that you are going to have some GREAT food experiences along the trails of life but you also need to know that disappointments WILL come.

However folks, take a philosophical view and keep on letting The Lure of Food take you to places you may not normally go. Take a risk and do it …

The baklava I photographed at Min-Oushy