Monday, February 08, 2010


Following a tip-off from a friend of mine, I went out yesterday evening for a late night hot chocolate at Chocolateria San Churro in Subiaco. It's a member of an upscale franchise of Spanish-style chocolate cafes, with lots of designer fonts in the menus and statements of smug corporate philosophy plastered over every available surface. And some nice orange chandeliers.

I don't know how authentically Spanish the Chocolateria San Churro experience is - I suspect not very - but the hot chocolate is amazing. Expensive, as you'd expect, but served thick and hot with lashings of chilli and cinnamon. The cinnamon lulls you with the rich blossom of its aroma, then you get smacked in the face with the chilli. I basically sat there going, "Mmmm... owww... mmmm... ouch... mmmm... ooof..."

However the most interesting part of the experience came afterward. As I was walking down the street with my friend PM, I said, "Sweet merciful crap, I feel so good!"

"Yeah, it was good," he said.

"I mean I feel... buoyant. Almost exhilarated! What the hell was in those hot chocolates? Other than chocolate. And sugar. And cream. Wait, I think I just answered my own question."

Apparently this is what happens when I go on a strict low-carb, low-calorie diet, then give my body a little indulgence: the sudden slug of sugars goes straight to the pleasure centres of the brain. I've been on a New Years Resolution diet since the start of the year, and coincidentally I've also been in a perennial bad mood since the start of the year. Then I have a single belt of gooey Spanish hot chocolate and suddenly I'm as chirpy as a bird in a Disney movie.

"Now you won't be able to sleep," said PM, who likes to look on the bad side of things.

But he was wrong. Not only did I sleep, but I had the most astonishing, semi-lucid dream I've had in years. Of course most of it dissipated when I woke, but I remember being in a beautiful coastal city of soaring skyscrapers, trying to save a friend who was the key to overthrowing a plot by the Norse god Loki. Because it was semi-lucid, I knew that it was a dream so I could relax and enjoy the ride. It also came in handy in rescuing my friend from the mental hospital (which is, oddly enough, where one puts people who claim to be trying to stop Norse gods): I convinced the hospital director to let him go by causing the dilapidated 1940s building to morph around him into a glorious art deco institution, all lofty ceilings, sleek furniture and ornate plaster mouldings. For some reason there were stylised pineapples in the plaster mouldings - I would have thought bananas would be more appropriate, but like I say, the dream was only semi-lucid.

Usually when I dream I wake up feeling disgruntled, more often than not relieved that whatever frustrations and fears I just experienced aren't real. But this one had me frantically grasping at the wisps as they evaporated. Skyscrapers... Loki... art deco pineapples... wait, was that woman who was helping me being played by Scarlett Johansson? Damn!

Chocolate: is there anything it can't do?


Anonymous maxK said...

Dear Blandywise,

Why do you insist on hiding your genius under a bushel? Or was it a ...shrubbery? Whatever.
Please include an email option for those do us who are confused and infuriated by the whole RSS Feed thing (which I also can't find on BW). Plah!

The World awaits...

Max Kater

10:05 AM  
Anonymous ultrabert said...

Re: your dream -- Have you been reading Dirk Gently?

11:09 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Max, I ticked a little box in blogger to create a subscribe button, but nothing eventuated. I will get the computer technicians here at Blandwagon Industries to hit it with a hammer and see what happens.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous maxK said...

Blandy. It's Hammertime! Where's that button?

10:36 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...


My engineers tell me that the best way to subscribe to the blog is to go here:

and click on the 'subscribe to this feed' link. Then things apparently happen. Possibly if I paid my engineers more than the occasional fish head it would all be a lot more user-friendly.

4:22 PM  

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