I’ve been back in Glasgow for a couple of weeks now. I was away for a couple of decades. I still can’t remember the UK mobile phone number that I’ve had for the last five years, but I have a dentist. I’m trying to think up ailments so I can register with a GP too. It’s strangely exciting putting down tentative roots after 20 years away from home.
In some ways it’s the exact same place I fled from when I was 19. In other ways it’s a completely different universe. It’s gone both fiercely, staunchly Scottish (ref: obligatory inclusion of black pudding salad and haggis—with potatoes, in pakora, on pizza—on all city menus), and thrillingly international. Now Glasgow has sushi places, Korean joints and pinata parlours. Okay, it doesn’t have pinata parlours yet, but I live in hope. However, Glasgow’s lack of barbecue places and Ethiopian restaurants has been causing me some consternation, but this morning I found a store that sells some excellent barbecue sauces plus ingredients for me to make my own. This pleases me. And makes me (a) hungry and (b) buy vast vats of such supplies and then have to stagger all the way up the road with them. Further excitement: Lupe Pinto’s Chile and Spice Shop has what appears to be Scotland’s biggest tequila selection! I practically drooled all over the counter and my gallon jug of enchilada sauce. And for Adrian, who often carries a security bottle of hot sauce for emergencies, there’s an entire wall of the scorching substances! Add to this mouth-watering recipe the fact that Lupe’s neighbours include a specialist beer shop, an African spice store, an organic butcher, the River Kelvin and my new dentist and I think we may have to ship our boxes across the Atlantic. Injera, berbere spice and perfect teeth could soon be mine. A 9% beer hangover could soon be Adrian’s.