EDitorial ± 9-Dec-2009

Ipswich Lunches: Karibu's Luncheon Club

Dimly remembered from CompSci lectures on artificial intelligence by Prof. Ajit Narayanan is some stuff about scripts. What I took away with me was that for most common situations, we have a series of expectations, i.e. we follow a script. When I go to the cinema, for example, I expect to pay for a ticket, show it to an usher, buy some popcorn then go through to take my seat. If I turn up and there's no list of films nor anyone to give me a ticket, I've diverted from the script and I'm confused.com.

At the Co-op Education Centre a couple of weeks ago, Andy took a flier, literally, for something called Karibu's Luncheon Club, happening "every forthnight [sic] starting from Wednesday 21 January 2009". It promised delicious African dishes -- no all day breakfast roll here -- and we pencilled in the December date. Locked bike to the railings outside St Margaret's Church Hall on Bolton Lane and located Gladwyn's Room, a comfy-chaired room with a hatch, like Lost. There's Grenvyle, already, and his food appears and is placed before him. Curious, he says: I haven't ordered yet. Which doesn't stop him digging in to his drumstick and rice.

There's no printed menu, other than a binary verbal choice of chicken or fish. What kind of fish, asked Andy? Fried fish, came the reply. Er, chicken for both of us, please. That word "karibu":

  • means welcome in Swahili, say the Internets
  • is a soundalike for the wild reindeer
  • also the opening track of an essential Pixies EP, needless to say

We're soon tucking in to our plates of meat, rice and unfamiliar veg, while being asked to buy tickets for the raffle. That done, it's on to tea/coffee and cake, which comes with or without cream. G. is very much a "with" man and is given a slice of sponge. Er, I ordered cream, he says to the waitress. It's there, she says, pointing to the filling. Touch of the Tea & Antiques going on, methinks.

No joy with the prize draw today, and it's unclear who to pay. I hand over my £3.50 -- bargainous -- to the cooking lady who has her baby strapped to her back, like Nessa in the arcade. Like I say, sometimes there is no script.

If it was a car -- Jeep.
If they were passing by -- Michael Palin.