Remember the time that we were in Hong Kong? We were looking for somewhere for lunch. I stood at the counter for a long time, deliberating. Weakened by the journey, you caught me at an uncharacteristic moment of indecision.
‘I can’t decide whether to have the noodles or a sandwich.’
You looked at the food, hermetically sealed in its translucent plastic skin, then looked back to me.
‘Have the noodles. There will be plenty time for sandwiches.’
I assented, and ordered the noodles. The noodles were good, and salty, and they revived me sufficiently to engage us in conversation. I pulled the Lonely Planet guide from my rucksack, and opened its pages.
‘From here we could take a ferry to Kowloon, then the train to Guangdong takes around 2 hours, or we could take an overnight sleeper right into Beijing.’
You, distractedly: ‘Beijing would be amazing.’ Your focus had shifted through the window of the café, to the city outside. A street-vendor was operating a machine which crushed sugar cane to produce a jug of green juice at the other end. As he fed each trunk into the mangle, a shriek of wood and metal was audible through the glazing that separated us.
‘What is he doing?’ I could see that an idea was already forming in your head.
We never did make it to Beijing. Instead we bought two jugs of the green sugar-water, one large bottle of vodka, and you created an impromptu party back at the Youth Hostel. It was one of the best nights we had.
Anyway, the reason this is all coming back to me now is that I was just here, in our kitchen, on a break from work. I reached into the drawer to retrieve the trinity of blades to make my lunch. My index finger traversed one of our knives, and as I felt the sting, I quickly pulled my hand from the drawer. As I did, one fat globule of carmine blood dropped to the floor. I held my finger and looked down at the resultant splatter, fragmented on our laminate flooring. It occurred to me - we are now in the Time For Sandwiches.