No, this isn’t about the board game. While overseas, there was a fantastic open air food court we frequented almost every night: absolutely delicious dishes at a bare couple of dollars each.
We were there one evening when it was raining heavily, and though we were in a covered area, there was nothing like the usual crowds that frequented the place. The stall owners would quite literally save for rainy days like these. A middle-aged man in a garish pink polo shirt numbered among these, and after filling our order hung round to chew the fat.
To my surprise, there was far more than running a food stall in this man’s background: indeed he used to live not far away from I do now, working as an electrical engineer and a couple of decades ago returned to his country. After some unsuccessful work within his field, he used a secret family recipe as the basis for his food stall, and has been here ever since.
The stall owner had a story about other returnees who hadn’t maintained such a connection with their roots: a while back a mother brought her young children on a visit to the village where she was born. She wanted them to pose under the tropical trees for photographs, and the stall owner helped her out.
“You see,” the mother explained, “I want my children to have photos so they can remember their roots: like sitting under these coconut trees.”
The stall owner had to hold in his laughter, because the trees the woman had picked were banana trees…