dealing with terroristic vegetables can be more difficult than you think

So, a couple of nights ago, I made Nam Phrik Pao and had it with rice and finished off the meal with sticky rice and mangoes. The house still smells (a bit) of my efforts though said efforts were much appreciated by my fellow residents.*

Apparently the Thai Cottage restaurant in London had a similar idea (except, of course, it wanted to feed others, not feed itself since restaurants--as a norm--do not need food. But, as always, I digress).

In its case, there was a bioterror alert, police closed off the area and houses were evacuated.

A neighbour says, "I was sitting in the office when me and my chief start coughing and I said this was something really dodgy."

But, instead of going to investigate, people called the police to report "noxious smoke".

The more amusing thing is that the people producing the suspected bioterror agent had no idea what was going on. In the words of the manager of Thai Cottage:

My boss rang me and said I had to get out of the building because of a chemical attack. Then she adds:

Because we're Thai, we're used to the smell of chillies.

The story is frustratingly vague--does this mean the neighbours were not used to the smell of Thai chillies? After all, it's used in almost every Thai dish. How long has this restaurant been located there that these people didn't know what the smell was?

It would be interesting to see how community relations pan out after this. But, for now, the final words go to a Scotland Yard spokesman:

The street was closed off for three hours while we were trying to discover the source of the odour.

Really. And no one bothered to ask. Oh, and hadn't they ever had Thai food before? Presumably the gas masks they had on prevented them from actually smelling the smoke and so it took them 3 hours to figure all this out.

Soon, it'll be like the tale of the boy who cried wolf. When terroristic chillies do take over London, there will be no one to care. Mark my words, people.

* or so they said. I, as a wuss, was unable to actually eat much since, despite having grown up in South-east Asia, my tolerance for spicy food is remarkably low. My 76-year old landlady turned out to be better at coping with Thai spices than me. Loads of Asians are probably rolling around in their graves (except they'd have been burnt to a crisp at death and hence unable to roll--though I guess coffins don't facilitate rolling either. Again--tangent. Sorry).

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