Home' Afloat : AFLOAT October 2015 Contents Take monthly with water October 2015 59
Sweet Chicken Fillets
800g chicken thigh fillets, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 crushed garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1⁄4 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
Basmati rice, to serve
2 teaspoons peanut oil
Heat oil in a frying pan; cook chicken in batches, stirring until
golden. Transfer to a bowl. Add onion and garlic to the pan. Cook
for 4mins. Return chicken to pan. Add soy sauce. Cover until
chicken is cooked through. Add sugar and fish sauce and juice. Stir,
for 1 minute or until sauce thickens. Serve with rice.
with Captain Chaos
Someearly warm weather and sitting out on the deck with
a glass of rough red reminded me of an adventure I had in
Spain ... the land of rough red.
I was staying with a friend in Madrid. This was in the days
when we used to pick up our mail from the Thomas Cook travel
agent after showing our passports. Being lazy we used to give our
passports to one bloke who had a car. One day a very agitated
Ash Woods came running up to me.
“Bloody hell Chaos. We’re in trouble!”
I stared at Ash wondering what could be upsetting him.
“ What’s the matter mate? ”
“ You know the bloke we give the passports to? ” I nodded and
he went on. “I just found out he left yesterday and is heading
down to the south of Spain. He still has our passports in the
glove box of his car.”
“I see what you mean! We’ll have to go after him. We won’t
be able to withdraw money without our passports. We have to
be on the look out for Guardia Civil. We can’t be caught hitching
rides as it’s against the law and without passports we could end
up in a Spanish gaol,” I said.
This was to be one of the most frightening but great adventure
of my life. We found it hard to get lifts as we had to dodge the
Guardia. We were sleeping rough and trying to hitch in the early
morning. Then it was off to the nearest cantina for the rest of
the day. We were not getting very far as drivers were reluctant
to stop for us.
Arriving at Toledo we went to the Pension and found a note.
“Found your passports in the car. Thought it not safe to leave
them here. Off to Seville then Cadiz. Hope you catch up soon.”
It had taken a week to get this far and we both looked like
tramps. We were just about to give up for the day when a car
pulled up. Out got a tall skinny bloke. He had all his bull-fighting
paraphernalia with a sword and hat on the top of his bag. He
thanked the driver then turned and saw us.
“Hey, are you guys Aussies? ”
It turned out his name was Chris Meagher he was a matador
and was heading for a bull-fighting school in Seville. He said to
join him as he had no trouble getting lifts. Things speeded up after
that. All Chris had to do was put his kit on the side of the road
and nearly all cars stopped. We checked at Seville and found the
same message. We left Chris at the school and got a lift from one
of the staff. At Cadiz we found we had only missed him by a day
and he would leave the passports at Thomas Cook in Gibraltar.
“Oh no! How are we going to get across the border? ”
Our driver felt sorry for us and gave us a lift to Vejer de la
Frontera. We could see Gibraltar in the distance but before us
was the Spanish checkpoint, bristling with guns and Guardia.
“Let’s go and have a drink!” This always seemed to be the best
way to think things out. We found a small bar and Ash got excited.
The bar was like a rugby union shrine; pictures and memorabilia
covered all the walls. As Ash was a Gordon supporter I let him do
all the talking. It all became a blur. I remember lots of sangria, a
long walk then a boat. I came to just outside the marina in Gibraltar.
“How in hell did we get here? ”
“ The bar owner knows a few smugglers. Let’s leave it at that.
It’s early. We’ll find Thomas Cook and wait outside.”
As soon as they opened we struck trouble again. Catch 22.
The travel agent wanted proof that we were who we said we were.
How did we come to be in Gibraltar? How did we cross the border?
Not only that but we looked nothing like the passport photos
with our beards and long hair. They were very British and sorry
they couldn’t help us.
Muttering under our breath, we went to the British Consul
who heard our story and had us wait while he telexed Australia
House in London. He came back with a letter giving the travel
agent permission to release our passports. We celebrated with
a meal and a few imported Fosters. h
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