Entries from January 31st, 2012

January 31st 2012

Currently putting together a comprehensive photo album of India which will include lots of food shots, fat babies, beautiful scenery and pictures where I look skinny and pretty, obv.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at one of my favorite landscape shots, taken in Kolkata.

Bengal >> Bangkok >> Burma

January 29th 2012

Currently making a quick stopover in Bangkok to (fingers crossed) get a visa for Myanmar (fka Burma), my next adventure.

Leaving India was really difficult. And not just because traffic in Kolkata was so nuts I almost missed my flight. FYI, AirAsia does not like when you cut it close…and they also weren’t thrilled when I tried to weigh myself on their baggage scale.

I miss the head bobble and those accents and the crazy, chaotic and totally foreign feel of India. Bangkok, in comparison, feels like being back in NYC. There’s street signs, people eat with forks, cab drivers acknowledge when you give them directions and, most importantly, the drugstores here sell face wash that’s not for skin lightening.

Thought for Food

January 26th 2012

Remember when I didn’t like Indian food?

ME either!

I like Indian food SOOO much that I honestly feel bad for myself and all those wasted years when I didn’t eat it.

The best part about traveling all over the country is that the food differs from region to region: Down south in Kerala there’s an emphasis on seafood and cooking with coconut milk, so the curries are creamier and less spicy.

In Goa there’s also plenty of seafood and a special dessert called banoffee pie (I’ve also seen it spelled banoffi, banofy, benofy….usually at the same places that I find lasania on the menu, but whatever that’s a hard one!) All you need to know is that the ingredients include cream, toffee, condensed milk and bananas.

Rajasthani cuisine is heavy and hearty with a lot of spice. Paneer dishes (fresh cheese) and dal (lentil curry) are on every menu and most everything is cooked with tons of my favorite ingredient, ghee (clarified butter). Pickled mangos are a popular side and as long as you’re at it, you should wash everything down with a sweet lassi.

Kichdi, a staple of the Gujarati diet, is a comforting, mushy mixture of rice and lentils served with a yogurt curry, khadi.

In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, opt for dosas, a crepe-like vehicle for ingesting potato masala and chutneys.

In Bengal, where I am now, they’re famed for the sweets: Rasgolla, a cheesy, doughy ball drenched in syrup and mishti doi, a yogurt with caramelized sugar. There’s also more rice (as opposed to breads) and lots of veggie dishes.

Eating my way through the country has been the best way for me to get a taste of Indian culture (awful pun intended, sorry). And, I’ve learned a lot, least of which is my mastering of the whole eating with my hands thing. The secret? Form a spoon with your fingers, use your thumb as a shovel.

January 25th 2012

Who me? Just getting a homemade hair oil treatment courtesy of my homestay “mom.” (Jaipur, India)

(How freaking cute is she?!?!?!)

Kolkata

January 25th 2012

I landed here in Kolkata at 10am on Monday morning without a hotel to stay in, a rupee to my name or a working cell phone (still. I don’t want to talk about it.) And despite all these things, this is quite possibly my favorite place in India.

The roads are filled with old, yellow Ambassador taxis and the rickshaws are still pulled by hand. The crumbling colonial architecture is picturesque in its decay and the dichotomy between rich and poor is interestingly delineated by the South/North border.

Being here I get the sense of being stuck in a an older, and much more distinctly British, India. 

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