The very Best of Food & Wine Blogs from Around the World- Updated April 2008
Sweet Sesame and Rice Flour Ladoos

Saltless Food

A dish without salt is like a man without manners- Ethiopian Proverb

It is a railing sort of day. Grey, wet (which now means flooded around these parts), miserable. The rain gods have been more than generous. Trouble is when they overdo a good thing one stops being grateful. Being an ever so slightly superstitious sort I am now afraid that for my morning talk I’ll be hit by lightning on my evening walk. You know "As flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods. They kill us for their sport" etc. etc.

We can hardly be blamed for thinking so...open the papers in the morning and the litany of pointless and preventable deaths begins. People washed down manholes, swept away by currents in the river when the sluices are opened without warning, electrocuted by an open wire while crossing the road.

Actually I don't think it is the Gods we have to blame so much as the Municipal authorities, who do not undertake any job unless it is pointed out to them. Even if they do a piece of work, the job is shoddily done and incomplete, so the roads remain hazardous. Public areas under their jurisdiction have death hidden behind every corner, especially for the uneducated and trusting. Payments to contractors are always made in full though.

Now add to these indignities the lack of manners in most public 'servants'. (Servant by name, Badshahs by attitude) People who are employed on the taxes we pay.

One is the man who accepts payment of electricity bills. The queue begins at 9 as the office opens at 10 and people have to get on their way to other jobs as quickly as possible. The man sits in his comfortable booth with a fan on while the queue is out in the open without benefit of shade. Come rain or shine the queue is long and patient. Rain can mean the deluge it is now, and sun can mean 40 C in the summer.

Mr. Clerk comes to office at 11.15 a.m. Everyday he is late or sometimes even absent. No reason given.  Initial murmurs of anger fade away soon for, if you are too vocal, he is likely to find something wrong with the bill or your form of payment or your lack of change. In which case the two and a half hours spent dripping with perspiration or rain is wasted.

Or he is rude beyond belief. Since most people in the line are ordinary citizens, people who do not have employees to stand in the line for them, they are obviously not important or rich enough to see that the man gets sacked. That is what he counts on. The meekness of the poor, the old, the retired, the weary.

Calls to the Electricity Board's local office to complain are ignored. Sometimes one hears them sniggering in the background.

This is now common among those who work for the government. A complete lack of manners in dealing with anyone.  Politeness seems to be a thing of the past. Everyone wants to have the last word and that word is often a curse. All this raises my blood pressure which means a. I have to walk more and where else but on these flooded roads. b. I have to cut out all salt from my diet. And “a dish without salt is like…..” Rude Food? I would not want to offer that to anyone. So....no recipe this time.

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