Thursday 27 June 2013

A Marmite moment

A little while ago I was on a shoot which had started very early in the morning.

The lovely guy who I was photographing offered me a cup of tea and a slice of toast.

What would I like on it?

'Marmite' I replied.

Marmite is an acquired taste and as it says on the jar 'taste tip-spread thinly'

'I think I have some, I don't eat it myself though' replied my host.

I carried on shooting.

A few moments later he bought out a slice of toast with a layer of Marmite so deep, 5mm or so in places, rendering it beyond inedible.

As my host did not eat Marmite and was not familiar with its super strong taste, he did not know that it should not be laid like tarmac.

I said thank you, took a bite and my taste buds had quite a time of it, my head all but being blown clean off.

The British curse of being over polite.

But what does one do in these circumstances?

Sometimes the stakes are much higher, with people who one cannot offend at any cost.

A very good photographer friend of mine was on assignment with a big name reporter from a British paper in Afghanistan.

They were working in Helmand and were invited into the home of a very important tribal elder.

He had prepared a special meal for them.

A local delicacy of fresh water fish which reeked of diesel oil.

Quick as a flash my friend came up with the mother of all lies which got him off the hook, without offending the elder.

'Fish is against my religion'

The elder nodded sagely and offered him some simple food instead.

The journalist looked daggers at my friend as she could not use the same excuse and could not decline the dish.

She ate the dish pungent mouthful by pungent mouthful and paid the price for some days to come.

An upset stomach is a horror when you are working under difficult conditions.

I have been there many, many times.

My friend and his colleague did not have the get out that I did.

A voracious Labrador which eliminated the Marmite laden toast in the blink of an eye.

After all, one must not offend the host.

Have a good weekend.


Good old Clive said...

I hope you kept the dog outside for a few days.

Libby said...

Now you have me intrigued about the Marmite and I will have to hunt some down.

I had a similar but with some client coffee. It was vile. Now if I go there I make sure I have a Starbucks with me.

Anders C. Madsen said...

Oh my - marmite.

I remember tasting it once while dating a girl from Wales and it kinda reminded me about the smell when my mother were boiling off the remains on her sausage pan after making very, very well done steaks, sausages and some bacon...!

Definitely and acquired taste, I'd say - and that comes from someone who prefers his whisky being labeled "Islay" :)

Unknown said...

Hey Anders

I love my Islay malts.