Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bold Brigand: Namaste Gurkha

So... I have this thing here in the United Kingdom. I just sort of, y'know... Stumble, upon Nepalese restaurants. There was the Gurkha Kitchen in Shetland - literally the last place on Earth where one would expect to find a Nepalese restaurant. Then, there was the Gurkha Kitchen in Aberdeen - one of two restaurants at which I was such a regular customer that they started giving me rides home from the restaurant. So, was I surprised when the close protection team and I discovered a Nepalese restaurant while scouting Blandford Forum for our final exercise?

No, dear reader. I was not surprised.

On the first night of our final exercise, we had a couple of hours to kill before we were supposed to pick up the guy whom we were guarding. Having scouted the restaurant with Tom Thumb the day before, I insisted that we go. (You'd be amazed what you can get people to do when you offer to pay.) Being a sort of amateur Nepalese food aficionado, I was able to make a number of recommendations that were quite well received. (Zulu was a lost cause, but more on that later.) We enjoyed momo, some great naan, and since I wasn't driving, I had a great big bottle of Tiger! Awesome!

While I didn't get a picture of the proprietor, we got several chances to chat with him. His name is Raju, and he's a veteran of the Queen's Gurkha Signals. He told us about Nepal, and about his service in the Gurkha Signals. Zulu, in his infinite wisdom, asked Raju about the legend that a khukuri can't be returned to its scabbard until it's drawn blood. (Raju didn't even let Zulu finish the question before answering that he knew where he was going with that, and no, they don't do that anymore.) With a great meal and some great team bonding complete, it was time to rock and roll.

The next morning, and half of the next day, Zulu kept telling people - particularly attractive young women - about the gastronomic effects of the "Gurkha curry" he'd eaten the night before. I literally couldn't take that knucklehead anywhere. On the plus side, another town, another Nepalese restaurant... You can't get much better than that.

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