Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cucumber chopping competition

Carnaby backpackers in Cape Town was by far the best place in SA, something I could never had said in the days of Route 49 as we would have lost all credibility with our myriad of agents throughout Africa. Run by Jane and James it gave travelers a home from home atmosphere with a rave party thrown in. Ruth, Grant, Ex-Africa and I have had many heady nights around the pool with the likes of Ferdinand and Jungle John. One memorable night Grant challenged on my behalf Quinton, Jane's Brother who is a professional chef to a Cucumber chopping competition. My secret weapon was that I am a chef as well but Quinton didn't know this and thought he was going to wipe the floor with me. Jane marketed the event for a week throughout Cape Town, telling everyone she knew to make it a very busy night in the bar. The night arrived and I walked in with my trainer Grant, headband on and towel wrapped around my neck sweating with anticipation. Quinton got wind of the fact that I was a chef and started to backtrack on his bravado. Too late mate!!!! A few drinks to loosen up and a little trip to the loo with James for some Bolivian wake up powder and we were ready. Jane had set up two separate tables with our own chopping boards, being professionals we had brought our own knives, sharpened to the standard of a razor blade. The rules were that we had to chop as many slices as we could in 60 seconds. Stop watch at the ready off we go, Quinton made the mistake of looking at me while chopping to see how fast I was and lost vital slices. I on the other hand had started in fine form chopping so fast that my knife was a blur, then disaster struck the drink and powder had taken over and let me misjudge the slicing. Three quarters of the way through I sliced a massive chunk off my index finger. Being a professional chef and performer of all sorts, I carried on to the end. Jane counted the slices with eager anticipation of the crowds and declared that it was a tie!!!! but then awarded the prize to me because of the extra slice, My Finger!!!!!!! Quinton took it very well and retired to the bar and a bottle of Scotch.

I had to go to the bathroom where Jane wrapped a bandage around the piece of skin she re applied to my finger. The scar is still evident with a rather large indentation to remind me that times were good then.

3 comments:

ExAfrica said...

Doesn't get much better than that - free drinks and sharp objects.

Ahh the Carnaby. Never was such a place as that - except maybe Haight Ashbury back in the day....

Route 49 said...

Can't remember that place but Africa Sun has some good memories as well.

ExAfrica said...

God, Africa Sun was like nirvana. And sometimes the drinks were free.