Virginia Woolf Revamped
No one perhaps has ever felt passionately towards a packet of chips. But there are circumstances in which it can become supremely desirable to possess one; moments when we are set upon having a delinquent delight, an excuse for driving half across Kuala Lumpur to boutique grocers between tea and dinner.
As for the foxhunter hunts in order to preserve the breed of foxes, and the golfer plays in order that open spaces may be preserved from the builders, so when the desire comes upon us to go street rambling, the chips does for a pretext , and getting up we say: ‘Really I must buy me some Salt & Vinegar chips’, as if under cover of this excuse we could indulge safely in the greatest pleasure of town life during the Monsoon season – rambling the streets of KL.
That is true: to escape is the greatest of pleasures; street haunting in winter the greatest of adventures. Still as we approach our own doorstep again with the packet of chips in hand, it is comforting to feel the old possessions, the old prejudices, fold us round; and the self, which has been blown about at so many street corners, which has battered like a moth at the flame of so many inaccessible lanterns, sheltered and enclosed.
Here again is the usual door; here the chair turned as we left it and the remote control and the the cigarette burn on the carpet. And here – let us examine it tenderly, let us touch it with reverence – is the only spoil we have retrieved from all the treasures of the city, a family size packet of Smiths S&V chips.