Of Food Trucks and Fire Bombs: Aussie Curry Trucks At War

Photo courtesy the Daily Telegraph

A few weeks ago--even before the record temperatures that had us all chasing the local ice cream truck around like feral children, with pockets full of change and a desperate hunger for a Bomb Pop--I reported on the short-lived ice cream truck war going on in Marysville. The details of that were fairly straightforward. There was an ice cream man and there was an ice cream lady. The ice cream lady parked her truck on what the ice cream man considered his turf, and so the ice cream man did what any reasonable purveyor of frosty treats for children would do: He whipped out a steak knife and threatened to stab the ice cream lady if she didn't back up off his territory.

No one got stabbed. An arrest was speedily made. And for a while, I didn't really think much more about the potential for food-truck-related violence.

Until today.

See, while a couple of ice cream truck popsicle-slingers getting into a West Side Story-style beef over their turf is kind of funny (mostly because no one actually got stabbed), apparently they take this shit much more seriously in Australia, where, just yesterday, two curry trucks were firebombed in what police think might be retaliation for a restaurant getting torched a few days ago.

Thanks to Eater.com (and the Daily Telegraph in Australia), I got the background on this "curry war" among Aussie Indian restaurants. It seems that a restaurant called the Copper Tiffin was firebombed in an apparent arson attack two weeks ago. Right next door to the Copper Tiffin is another Indian joint, Maya Da Dhaba, with which the Copper Tiffin is in serious competition. And the curry trucks that got torched? They were parked by Maya Da Dhaba. That picture at the top of this post is of what was left of one of the trucks after the fire was put out.

Funny thing is, the owners of the two places? They claim to have no beef with each other. Matter of fact, they say that they're friends and have been operating in the same neighborhood for years with no problems. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, this may not be a curry war at all, but rather a racially motivated attack.

However this turns out, it makes our little tussle in Marysville seem positively quaint by comparison. And it makes me glad that, while I might have to deal with the occasional knife-wielding psychotic when I'm out looking to score a Choco-Taco in the park, at least I'm not on the Sydney curry beat.

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