Above: With some people, at some point you just need to draw a line in the sand.
Babs and I were kicking around the Middle East in the autumn of 2009. Because Goz had done a Syria-Jordan-Egypt trip before us, I pinged him asking for some recommendations.
I didn't know Goz very well at this point. I just knew he wasn't your average fellow because he decided to do his big Middle East trip (including Iran) alone, and that he regularly took on rather strange food projects like making apple noodles. (I still have no idea what the latter is). And that when it came to high jumping, he wasn't going to any medals, but boy did he have style.
All of the above still didn't prepare me for the string of emails that came from him as a response. Plenty of fabulous recommendations. Even more capital letters and exclamation marks. And when I (it would seem) failed to communicate adequate over-enthusiasm on certain points made, there were more emails, more capital letters, more punchy punctuation.
Oh, and a demand to see his name in big red letters on this blog as a thank you afterwards.
Babs and I eventually moved on from the Middle East, but the emails with Goz spasmodically continued. Mostly I think we argued about food. A certain posh eatery in San Sebastien, in particular. There were threats of unfriending, or at least I was later told.
The conversation continued when we got back to London. And escalated. We talked. Incessantly. (Actually maybe not, in reality. It just feels like it). About nostalgic Singapore food. About not so nostalgic Singapore food, the technical term for which I am not allowed to use. About restaurants in London. About restaurants everywhere else. About supperclubs. About todo lists for starting a supperclub. About foraging. About whether it was or was not appropriate for one to eat at NOMA without one's partner. About old school chinese calenders. About ice-shavers. About starting a heavy metal band. About shit hot young chefs. About our friends who have crushes on them. About Twitter. About waterbaths. About the appropriate uses of hashtags (#damnifiknow). About giant picnics involving newspapers and banana leaves.
And before you know it, I find myself cooking a "bonus dish" at 2am on Debut Day of Goz's Singapore supperclub +65 / Plusixfive.
It's a long time and distance since that desert in Wadi Rum, Jordan. (We didn't forget about that big red thank you, dude. We were just saving its display for a special occasion.) If anything, I think my affection for the madness that is Goz has moved closer to setting in stone than shifting in the sand.
So Goz, here's to the start of something today. And the many more capital letters and exclamation marks to come after.
Above: We Love Goz -- The Making Of.