South African 'bunny chow'
'Bunny chow,' one of South Africa's signature dishes, is a traditional meat curry dish poured over white bread.
On my train journey home one night a sharply dressed man with a salt-and-pepper mustache had sat down next to me. After about 20 minutes, as we sat in the tunnel under the Hudson River, I became aware that he was craning his neck and taking great interest, as far as I could tell, in my chin. Putting my hand to my chin self-consciously I asked, “Is there something I can help you with?”Skip to next paragraph
We Are Never Full
Amy and Jonny Seponara-Sills (Amy’s American, Jonny’s English) run the food blog We Are Never Full. Through recipes, anecdotes and podcasts, it chronicles their borderline obsession with food from meals made at home to travels studiously built around the search for authentic regional and national dishes from all over the world.
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“Oh, I’m sorry,” he replied calmly, “didn’t mean to worry you. I was just looking at your scarf. It’s a Manchester United scarf, isn’t it?”
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Indeed it was a Manchester United scarf, I told him, at which point a broad smile emerged from under the bushy eaves of his mustache. “I had lunch with Ron Atkinson a few times back in the 1980s, you know.”
“Really?” I replied, instantly curious and detecting some sort of accent that placed him outside of the New York/New Jersey metro area. “Where?”
“In Johannesburg. I was his driver.” Turning to look at him, I saw a pair of very lively brown eyes. Horn-rimmed spectacles sat comfortably amidst abundant but neatly combed salt and pepper hair giving him a slightly professorial look. Guessing his accent as South African, and he of Indian descent, I asked him what he was doing here on the New Jersey transit train to Trenton.
“Heading home.” he said. “Flying out of Newark to go and visit the family. They’re upset that I couldn’t make it for Diwali, but it’s been four years since I was back, so I think they’ll forgive me.”
“I hope you have a great time. I know what it’s like not to see your family for years at a time, too. What brought you to the United States?” I replied.
“Well, I suppose you could say it was business. I came here in 1988 with a suitcase of samples from a South African plastics manufacturing company I was working for and never left.”
“Wow, that is incredibly brave! To come here with nothing and just see what happened.” I blurted stupidly.
“Kinda, but I was 26 at the time and I had the bravery or foolishness of youth in me. It wasn’t easy, and it took a while, but eventually it worked itself out. Funnily enough, by the time I became an American citizen, apartheid had ended and I could have gone home no questions asked, but that country is still a mess today and I have never regretted leaving,” he replied.