Sunday, January 15, 2006

India Lite Pt 2, from Rob

This story illustrates the mentality of some of the 2-week-travellers as I like to call them or maybe I should say too weak hohoho harharhar.
Last night we were waiting for our dinner to come out and Glenn had thoughtlessly left the backgammon board in our room. He said it was a mistake, but I am sure it was because he is just too tired of losing. Ah but too be fair I have let him win twice now. Anyway, to pass the time, what better thing to do than people watch--and ruthlessly critize of course.
First let me explain the restaurant we were in. It is called Rapsy's Restaurant also known as Chicken Corner. Its not even on a corner but it does serve up mean chicken. We have been in a million restaurants now and with all certainty I would say that Rapsy's used to be a local favourite (and to some extant still is) but since it ended up in all the guide books they have since adjusted to cater to tourists although without losing their Indian roots. They still make damn fine Indian food with a very simple menu. The only real difference is that they have printed an English menu with explainations and they have added a few "continental" dishes such as Israeli salad and Spanish omelet and chow mein with veg or meat. The prices are still ridiculously cheap (Glenn and I can eat till we explode for about 3CAD each) and their are still a few tables of Indian families their all the time--a good sign indeed.
We have met a few people, travellers, that are so scared of getting sick, they do not eat meat at all. To Glenn and I, this is an absurd philosophy. Sure, there are some places where we stick to vegetarian but if we walk into a restaurant called Chicken Corner, full of customers, a healthy amount of them Indian, you better be damn sure we will at least be giving the chicken a try. It just blows my mind that people will travel half way around the world and go home without ever even eating tandoori chicken for example. Have we been really sick from eating meat in India? Yeah probably. We have spent full days horizontal and due to one bad meal I now find the smell of cloves quite unappetizing. That being said, if someone told me there was a very high chance that I will be sick again in the next month in India unless I go vegtable-aryan I would still continue to eat meat. Not just because I am a omnivore, but because I am in India and I want to try everything, that is what I am here to do. I also make a point of trying out all the different vegatarian dishes, the salads, raitas, breads and sickly sweet deserts.
Now back to sitting in Rapsy's, hungry and bored. To my left I spy a party of five, 3 men, 2 woman all about mid forties. They were tall thin people, Europeans. The waiter started to bring out their food, he brought the men's first. Hmm what did they order? I was so hungry that I had to stare.
Chinese. Chinese! The 3 men each had a plate of vegtable chowmein. They were sitting in a gem of a restaurant in the middle of India Lite eating Chinese! I could not believe it. Glenn and I have tried the Chinese food at times and in fact have had some excellent western style Chinese in a Chinese restauant. By the way, we were actually both a bit sick the next day. Would the women be more daring? Would they have a bit of Kerala style fried chicken or at least a potato curry with some chapatti? No, they each decided to go with an omelet. Spanish or plain I was not sure. An excellent choice--for breakfast maybe.
But this is the best part. All five of them looked so sad. They picked meekly at their food. Well no wonder, didn't they know that fried eggs, omelets and chinese always comes out greasy everywhere in India? That the oil they use tastes a bit funny and that eggs are generally overcooked and chowmein is bland with very few vegetables. They all had stooped shoulders and sunken bellies. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Yes, I am a mean shallow pathetic man, but we all knew that already. Glenn was laughing too by the way. I felt like yelling at them to enjoy their time in India. Or being more subtle and just asking them how was the Chinese here, oh not that good? Gee I am surprised because the Indian here is excellent. I couldn't imagine what they would look like in another week on that diet because they already looked quite malnourished. They just looked so depressed it was hilarious. It was seriously one of the funniest things I have ever seen, 5 adults picking the worst possible things off the menu and looking like there were going to cry. If that ain't funny I don't know what is...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is time for you two boys to leave India're getting way to cocky!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Egganor said...

Your not being fair - maybe a family member just died and they were eating his favourite dish in memory of him!

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

.......(a la Office Space)......Yeaaaaaah, riiiiiiiiiiiight.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so you and Glenn have ordered the Chinese food in India, now strangers do it and you think you are better than them? Get off your horse white boy.


10:22 PM  
Blogger Glenn Saqui said...

From Rob on his High Horse,

This is awesome. Finally we have some hecklers. First off, as I stated in the blog, I am shallow mean and pathetic. A better person would give them the benefit of the doubt; perhaps they are getting over some sick bellies and wanted to eat something bland. Fair enough, but is that funny? I don't think so. Also, I said I wanted to yell at them, but did I? No, I only amused myself with the way that conversation might go. One more thing, I said we have had the Chinese in India, AT A CHINESE RESTAURANT. We have been here for 2 and a half months now and have tried many things, good and bad. If I was here for only 2 weeks though, I would be counting the meals I had to make the most out of each experience. Doesn't anyone else find it funny that they ordered the worst thing off the menu in an above average restaurant and then looked so sad afterward? I guess you had to be there....

1:28 AM  
Blogger Summers said...

Indeed, it IS great that there's some discussion and conflict. And it IS in fact kinda sad that they picked the blandest thing on the menu. I may have even wondered to myself, self, "Why are those people all eating the same boring thing? What a drag."

Having said that, you're in India, if we're going to have discussion, debate and open dialogue in an intelectual, opinionated and even emotional context, let's do it over ANYTHING other than what the "khota's" are eating. I'm not going to list what those things may be as there are too many, but you get the drift.

Keep the sparks flyin' boys!!!!

9:24 AM  
Blogger Bodin said...

Wait a minute... I know that cranky feeling. If you don't take care of that while you are over there, we will fix you up real good in Mexico ;)

8:37 AM  

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