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  Moving on  




Strumming guitar by a railroad track

I'm moving on without looking back

I don't have much in my rucksack

But I have you to make up for that


Sleeping in a coal mine

That's not fine

And I won't dine

But you are mine


I don't drive a car, some say I'm thick

The license I have is artistic

Although not fast I can be quick

Keep dogs at bay with my walking stick


The wind in my hair

Brings out some flair

I need a dare

I'll jump in bare


Naked we come and end up as dust

I play guitar and feast on a crust

I'm moving on, no time to rust

My companion is my wonder lust


This wide world spot

Is all I got

I hoofed a lot

I'm hot to trot



Sometimes, when the food is bad the travel is still really good; such was my experience in the Philippines when I visited Mt Mayon, at the time the most perfect volcanic cone in the world (it has since exploded). It also works the other way around: sometimes, when a wrench gets thrown into my travel plans, I discover really good food. For example, I had my first taste of callaloo in Harlem because I drank wine for breakfast by the Hudson river and had to pee really bad on my way to JFK airport. That story is in my culinary autobiography, but this one is not as it's more recent:


I was on my way to Panama last year, and I was booked with Aeromexico via Mexico City. When I went to board my flight from Mexico City to Panama, I was told that I could not get on the flight because I only had a one way ticket. Unlike the other times I'd been to Panama, this time I was planning to travel out of Panama overland through Costa Rica. I got so angry that I said I'd never travel to Panama again, and I went to the Aeromexico office and booked a flight back to the U.S. I left myself a few days in Mexico City, though, to rediscover a city I'd spent a lot of time in many years ago, and I ended up having the best Italian pasta I've ever eaten.


It was a cool and rainy June evening as I left my hotel to search for a good place to eat. I came across an Italian restaurant, Giro's, that looked inviting. There was a lot of glass so I could see the modern wood beam ceiling inside and the wine racks and brick pizza oven. The menu outside interested me, and the prices were very reasonable. Once seated comfortably inside, I ordered the Spaghetti a la Chipolata.


Chipolata was advertised on the menu as natural pork sausage, and I'm fairly sure they were fresh and uncured. It came in a creamy tomato sauce that had white wine in it and al dente red and green bell pepper. The three small sausages were halved lengthwise and had a mild natural pork taste and these particular ones had a wonderfully fine texture. The sauce had a nice tartness to it and was topped with real grated parmesan cheese (and then the waiter came by and offered to grate more). The spaghetti was perfectly cooked and the whole dish was just ridiculously good. It came with bread, crackers, butter, and hot chile in oil. I paired it with sangria, which at this place turned out to be red wine floated on some lemon flavored Smirnoff sparkling malt beverage.


I had other lovely culinary adventures during those few days in Mexico City, such as Argentine inspired tacos, and I watched some World Cup matches on TV in a cozy Spanish bar on the edge of Alameda Park. I would have missed my delightful re-acquaintance with Mexico City had I been allowed on my flight to Panama, but most of all, I would never have found Giro's Ristorante, and I would have missed out on Spaghetti a la Chipolata.


Roland's Bio

The way I grew up, each type of school I went to was in a different country on a different continent: primary school in England, junior high in Ethiopia, high school in Lebanon, and University in the United States. I've been a legal resident of seven countries and have traveled in over thirty. Apart from being an inveterate traveler, I'm also a writer, photographer, and  chef; thus, I often write about, and photograph, the food I come across on my travels. My culinary autobiography, Wot I Ate, can be read on most of my writing is posted. I currently reside in the desert in Southern California.

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