Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or treat: Creamy plastic?

It’s been a very long time since I’ve updated this blog so sorry about that!  I’ve been meaning to update, but I’m just now getting to it really.  And Happy Halloween, by the way!  Not that Halloween is really celebrated here, except by the expat community!

Anyway, I went back to the United States for about a week this month and I’m just starting to recover from a number of things.  But my friend Lum got married and I was a bridesmaid!  :) 

First stop was NYC to see Rae.  It was fun, except it was sad that it rained all three days.  Lamesauce.  But I ate at Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant Red Rooster and it was so yummy.  Biscuits and gravy have never tasted so good.  Also, I went to Blue Smoke (BBQ joint) on my birthday and I wish the meal never ended.   For real.  Also, I cooked some really tasty jambalaya.  Oh, if I only had all of the ingredients here and a big pot...

Jambalaya - jealous?
Biscuits and gravy (half-eaten) from Red Rooster

Bachelorette party was after my birthday in New Orleans! Rehearsal for the wedding, rehearsal dinner and then the wedding.  I wasn’t even getting married, but I felt pressure having to walk down the isle first.  Haha.  Congratulations Lum and Godwin!

And after the wedding madness, a day of rest / chilling.  I loved chilling New Orleans, way too much.  I’m still not over it, despite being back in Hyderabad… Oops.

Anyway, my dad gave me a banana that made it successful on the flight from New Orleans, layover in Chicago, stop in Delhi and to Hyderabad.  I hadn’t even made an attempt to eat it until at least a day of being in Hyderabad once I remembered it was in my carry-on.  Get this – this Chichiquita banana still looked brand new – perfectly yellow with not bruises or soft spots.   However, the taste wasn’t very good.  I’m assuming it’s due to all of the pesticides.  The bananas I get here on the street that literally look like shit actually tasted way better.

Also,  I brought back some pralines for my roommates and they agree with a back-entry that yes, kaju katli and pralines do in fact taste exactly the same.  Just in case there are any New Orleanians in India missing pralines!  If only there was something that tasted like gumbo over here…

The first week I was back, I wasn’t really ready to get back into the India way of life just yet – food wise.  I ate a ton of Lindor truffles purchased duty-free instead of real food.  I did have Subway a couple of times when I needed real food.   At the end of my first week avoiding Indian food (Saturday), I had a spectacular day of non-Indian foods with another IDEX fellow, Jin!  After waking up super late (2pm), I met up w/ Jin at a place called Delhi 9 for some much appreciated coffee, crème puffs, chocolate croissants, and chicken quiche.  So yummy! 

And then we went to Ruci and Idoni for dinner.  So good.  I had a dish called Chicken Piri Piri- grilled chicken, served with mashed potatoes and bell peppers in this South African red sauce.  It was surprisingly spicy, in a good way.  And the chicken was perfectly cooked.  I could go on about it for days.  Or rather, I’ll eat there again this weekend…  

Other random things to share:  On Gandhi’s birthday, it was a holiday (obviously!)  And since Gandhi was a vegetarian, couldn’t buy any meat- WTF!  (Really wanted to eat meat that day!)  Also, I can’t find cheese that looks appealing for anything!  Except -- processed cheese is everywhere.  Like, where’s the unprocessed cheese?  I like to refer to processed cheese as creamy plastic in my head.

I think this post might have only been about food…  But I am now adjusting back to life as it is in Hyderabad.  I’m eating Indian food again!  Looking forward to some dal or something equally Indian for lunch and everything!

Happy Halloween! (I’m sad that I can’t find any huge bags of fun-sized chocolates here though.)

Til next time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Playing Frogger

Topic I’ve been meaning to update is about crossing the street in India.  Does anyone remember the game Frogger from like 4th grade?  It was awesome.  Basically, you played the character of a little green frogger than had to jump between traffic to cross the road without getting splatted.  As the levels progressed, the cars moved faster and faster as you tried to cross the road.  Essentially, crossing the road in India is like playing Frogger, except you’re actually a person and if you’re hit, you don’t actually have 3 videogame lives. 

Another thing I wanted to update about is spitting.  People are constantly spitting here.  Well, most the men, but occasionally women too.  (I won’t blame everything on the guys.)  But yeah, I understand why because I find I can also spit like the best of them.  The pollution here is pretty crazy, like crazy bad.  The exhaust from all of the cars and the constant traffic make the center of the city filled to the brim with pollution that gets stuck in the back of one’s throat.  There are pollution check trucks in various part of the city as well, but I don’t think they make any difference in the actual air quality.  Last time I was here in Hyderabad, I lived out on campus in Gachibowli, where one can actually breathe.  I’d be interested to see the statistics in 5 years on the likely increase of lung cancer in the Hyderabad area as the city’s population has grown too large for the infrastructure to handle…

Lastly, I’m heading to the U.S. on Friday and I am super excited!  First to see Rae in NYC!  And then to NOLA for Lum’s wedding and to hang out with my family!  It’s also a little bitter sweet because after this trip, I’ll be in India at least until the end of April 2013.  And I’m not really planning on going back to the US until the end of June 2013. 

Until next time!

Edit: I'm thinking about getting a nose ring.  Thoughts?