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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

image for The Legendary Voyages of Christopher Columbus, From His Personal Diary Take me to the curry house

4th August 1492
Awoke this morning with a splitting headache. Our fleet of three ships are heading westward and there is nothing I can do to stop them.

Last night, my shipmates and I were partaking of a good many German lagers in the local tavern in Spain. My second captain Martin Pinzon told me that there was a dish which went by the name of "chicken vindaloo". He described it to us, and our mouths watered so much that we decided we had to have one straight away. Unfortunately it is only available in India, which is at least six months journey around the Cape of Africa.

However Martin had another idea - we could set sail to the west. India has never been reached that route before, but he was sure it was the shortest way. Once the crew heard of the plan, they piled into the ships and set off immediately.

My crew are determined that they will not go home until they have eaten a vindaloo, and I cannot stop them. Luckily we have seven hundred barrels of finest German lager on board, and the men are as drunk and happy as ever.

25th August 1492
We have been sailing and drinking for two weeks, or is it three? I cannot tell which way we are going, the ships are tacking first north-west then south-west, like a drunken man staggering to a pork scratchings vendor.

We are still a long way from land, but I am sure my beer rudder will guide us the right way - it usually gets me home after a drunken voyage.

The men are still in fine spirits, but are beginning to look bleary-eyed. I hope we strike land soon. This trip is going to be legendary.

18th September 1492
One of the men attempted to make a horse korma using some of the few remaining spices on board. It tasted so awful we could only have a small bit each, but it gave us such mouth-burns that we were spurred on to reach India for more curried food. Morale is high.

12th October 1492
We have sighted an island, which I will name Hispaniola, or "little Spain" because I'm too hungover to think of anything more original. There doesn't seem to be a curry house on the shore, but the lookout is certain that he spotted a kebab van further up the beach. We will go forward carefully now, for we have been drunk for fully two months now, and the natives may be dangerous.

14th October 1492
Success. After two months of heavy boozing on the lager, we finally find a superb local Indian dish, which is called "chilli sauce and chips". It's not a vindaloo but we are satisfied at last.

I do have a terrible suspicion that we have not reached India at all. They don't even seem to have heard of poppadoms here.

However, I have no doubt that these new ingredients "chilli" and "chips" will be very popular back in Europe. At last we can rest.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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