By Paul Bleakley
I REMEMBER being perplexed when I ordered my first kebab in London. What was in this magical box? Where was the toasted wrap full of questionable-yet-delicious meat? Why have they given me a fork? Kebabs aren’t meant to be civilised!
The late-night kebab run was a revelation. I entered into what was essentially an abusive relationship. Despite waking up the next morning questioning why I would put myself through the torment of eating something that was shaved off a greasy slab of meat at 2am, I would always go back.
It took a lot for me to see that I had developed a serious kebab addiction. In one particularly busy week before Christmas we wandered into the local kebab shop after getting off the Tube at Acton Town. We had been to the Belvedere on Thursday night, to a pub in Hammersmith on Friday, and had just returned on the Saturday from a night of drinking Steins at Winter Wonderland.
As we stood at the counter waiting for our orders, we struck up a conversation with the guy who works at the kebab shop. He knew our names, he knew that we lived nearby, he knew what we had done earlier in the week. For a moment I thought he might have been stalking us, lurking in the bushes as we walked through the darkness.
Nope. It turns out we had been into the same kebab shop three times that week. If his aim was to shame me into recovery, it worked.