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  • Writer's pictureChris Mads

How to do airport breakfast

In the Robert Rodriguez film Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Johnny Depp's unhinged CIA agent kills a cook at a Mexican restaurant because his cochinita pibil is "too good".

According to Depp's character, Sheldon Sands, he eats the same thing at every restaurant he goes to. His rationale for killing the cook, it turns out, is that he must keep the balance by eliminating a chef whose version of the meal is too good.

Ignoring the murderous insanity of the second half of the scene, the start of that may ring true to people who spend a large amount of their time on the road. There is something to be said for having a stock and staple meal. That is especially true for breakfast; you are often choosing when tired and you want to try and get yourself off to the best start.

As I write this I am sat in Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5. It is not yet 6am and I have been up since before 4. This isn't actually unusual for me and it means I have adopted a routine for this sort of eventuality. I have a stock order which works in just about any terminal in the world: toast, avocado, bacon, black coffee. It is filling enough to get you going but light enough that it doesn't make you feel bloated or stop you sleeping on the upcoming flight.

Sands is not the only character who adopts this mentality. James Bond, who represents the dream for any suited, travelling British businessman, does the same. Seriously, find me a guy who has jetted off somewhere for work while wearing a suit and says they have not had a fleeting moment where they picture themselves as 007 and I will show you a liar.

Food may not be a key part of Bond's life in the film series, but it is in the books. His favourite meal is bacon and eggs, which he will eat any time of the day.

"Room service? I'd like to order breakfast. Half a pint of orange juice, three eggs, lightly scrambled, with bacon, a double portion of cafe Espresso with cream. Toast. Marmalade."

Live and Let Die, Ian Fleming

So Bond knows his order. But he also knows the importance of not missing out on the local experience. He claims to enjoy the "ordinary plain food of the country" when abroad. In From Russia, With Love for example, he has a breakfast in Istanbul of yoghurt and figs.

The keys when travelling are ease and comfort, but it is important not to miss out on an opportunity to take advantage of where you are. While travelling for work may not always carry the glamour onlookers ascribe to it, it is still a rare and fortuitous experience. So one really should make the most of it. And if you are travelling for fun you have no excuse at all.

Know what you like, know what you will order as a default, but be willing to wing it and "go local".

You might discover something brilliant.

#travel #food

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