Posted on 2005/11/16 16:31:16 (November 2005).
[Monday 14th November]
Well, we're into the last week of my business trip now, the end is in sight I suppose. Really didn't feel that great (again) in the evening, so declined the offer to go out for dinner with one of my colleagues, opting instead to go to the supermarket and buy stuff to cook in my hotel room.
In the supermarket I went to the cheese counter, and enquired as to why no cheeses in the US are labelled properly as regards the rennet they are made with. The only cheese I could find which had any mention of vegetable rennet was one imported from England! Apparently US vegetarians don't seem that bothered about this sort of thing. In reality I wasn't actually that concerned with getting the answer, I just wanted to register a protest and vent my frustration. It was my little way of saying "I don't want to be here", albeit to some guy who literally couldn't care less.
So anyway, I bought the extremely expensive Borough Market Cheddar, safe in the knowledge that as a proper bit of decent English cheese it would not only be devoid of baby cows stomach lining, but it might actually be worth eating. This was the sole highlight of my day really. I made spaghetti and melted some of this over the top. The spaghetti was too thin (people here seem to like it like that - I mean, what's all that "angel hair" bollocks about?), the sauce I had got in a jar was just plain crap... but the cheese was good, and reminded me of home.
Apologies to any American readers - this article is not intended to be a bout of US bashing... It's just that I have been sent here against my will, and I really would rather not be here. I hope you understand!
Dear Dr John.
You don't know me but I am the Nice (sorry Vice) President of the 'Federal Enterprise Dairy for vegetarians United against Prejudice' (FEDUP for short).
We are pleased to support your one man campaign to search high and low, leaving no stone unturned, scouring the highways and byways, walking each and every street of downtown Seattle in your hetroic quest to discover the Holy Grail of Rennet Free Cheese that actually tastes of something other than expanded polystyrene ...
Well done John...
Keep up the good work...
You can contact us via our UK office located on a small island in the furthest North West tip of Wales (near England)
Posted by Dr Renne t FREEman at 2005/11/16 18:01:00.
Work is work, there is bound to be nice things is Seattle, maybe you are not in the right mood to see them...
Still I can't understand why you are so picky towards rennet and you didn't care about those little QUORNs that were slaughtered senslessly in order to make the quorn-burghers back in Radstock days... :) 2 more days! I am also counting!!
Posted by Lox at 2005/11/17 04:04:24.
That's cool. John... I know you just want to go home and I don't blame you one bit...
Posted by Catherine at 2005/11/17 04:33:23.
Glad to hear no offense was taken! It is a sad truth about business travel, it makes you totally fail to enjoy the place you are in (at least for me). I'm sure if I were here in the US voluntarily (on holiday for example) I would be going on about how great everything is now.
Posted by John at 2005/11/17 05:14:47.
Dear MR. Hawkins,
We regret to see that your stay was unpleasant, but we have reasons to believe that you are a spy and therefore you will not be allowed in our country anymore.
As for your complaints, may I remind you that if it wasn't for our pilgrims, UK would not exists?
On the chees issue everyone knows that cows eat grass, therefore they are vegetarian as much as you are, and their byproducts are considered veggie as a result.
Posted by Mr. President Bush at 2005/11/17 08:27:13.
Was there deliberate emphasis on the "MR" there dubya? ...because actually you know my correct prefix is "Dr". I have a PhD, although no doubt you don't know what one of those is.
Posted by John at 2005/11/17 16:23:06.
Dear Signor Hawkins,
Surely these PhDs you are talking about are evil WMD your land shall be bombed until we find them.
Posted by Mr. President Bush at 2005/11/18 12:51:03.
Good luck with that Mr Bush!
Posted by John at 2005/11/18 02:02:42.