Thursday, April 23, 2009

Diplomatic Status

In my opinion, Greek, Indian, Thai, and other ethnic restaurants based in the United Kingdom shouldn't be allowed to get away with calling themselves such. For a start, invariably, their owners hold British passports. Secondly, unless the food has actually been air-freighted in, it remains essentially English, albeit tarted up with exotic ingredients. Therefore, more properly, these places should advertise themselves as Greek style and Indian style eateries.

A possible way round this, however, is to give them diplomatic status. Then a Greek restaurant could indeed be accurately described as such, because it really would be Greek territory, subject to the usual border regulations and immigration controls. Likewise all the others.

Some problems might, of course, arise from this. For example, where two adjoining restaurants - Greek and Turkish, for instance - shared a common parking area or a back yard, territorial disputes could ensue, possibly leading to wars. And if they got out of hand, the wars could quickly spread from the restaurants to the countries themselves. Or a Persian restaurant might try to develop nuclear or biological weapons capability. As we know, punitive sanctions are rarely effective in these cases. Consequently, it would be necessary to bomb the offending restaurant back to the Stone Age, regardless of any potential collateral damage to its “human shield” diners.

On the plus side, though, existing embassies and legations would probably feel obliged to upgrade themselves to restaurant status in solidarity. Which could only be a good thing. At the moment, if I ring up the Chinese ambassador in London and ask for two spring rolls and Peking duck with pancakes, he rarely obliges. But as a culinary diplomatic entity, he'd be forced to, if only to ensure international goodwill. And I'd get the meal in a specially insulated diplomatic bag.

1 comment:

K. McEgan said...

I'll set up a Tibetan eatery. You can come in and trash it. I first eat a Momo in late '98 or early '99 when I was (cont pg 400)...