Firstly this is a post partly in response to this.
11 hours 36 mins … my watch does not show seconds and you have stopped timing the intervals between meals. You just pulled that number out of the air anyway. Let it suffice to say you have been working all day and are hungry enough to eat a camel. You wonder how you haven’t eaten in a while. Its just the way things are now. And being a huge foodie, its kind of tragic. You look at your code and the bug persists. You give up. Your’e just too hungry to care. The cell vibrates and you pick up to hear your mother’s voice “Are you going to eat?” You reply in the affirmative. You almost miss the bus home but that is not because you are smelling freshly fried samosas or vada pavs. You would give your right hand to be able to eat those on a daily basis.
You don’t pay the driver and just trudge along home. As you open the door, the smell of freshly cooked divine food does not greet you. Its just the smell of some food made a long time ago that is starting to get bad and stinking up the fridge. You take off your footwear and move towards the kitchen. No one tells you to wash your hands. It doesn’t really matter. You look at the empty plates, sigh and start to wash the rice. Its going to be a 30 minute wait before you get to eat. That is what life in the USA is really about.
For everyone in India who thinks that in the USA one would indulge in a life or carefree debauchery and will experiment with all the vices the new world has to offer, the reality is that you can really do all those if you want to, but considering the amount you pay to get here, can you afford to? And the biggest price to pay for a food lover is that the food here is disgusting most of the time. And if you happen to be a vegetarian, God help you. Its not as bad as in Europe I hear, but the American concept of vegetarian food borders on what their pet rabbits eat. Raw vegetables of every sort piled in the corner of the buffet.
Mexican vegetarian food is not too bad but you can’t have much of that. And when Indian places are few and far between and expensive at that, you really start missing the spices. And of course, there is no home made food unless you count your own cooking.
Something I am very thankful for is that I like to cook. Its almost therapeutic. My mom made sure I knew my way around the kitchen before sending me to the US and I have been fortunate enough to be right at home here. It started with the simple stuff like peeling potatoes and dicing vegetables. Before long I had graduated to making rotis, hakka noodles, stuffed parathas and yes even Pav Bhaji. But it is a pain to do it day in and day out of course. This makes me respect and admire my mother a million times more. How do you spend an entire day at the office and the go to the kitchen and whip up a delicious meal for a family of 3 every day? I promise to help her out in the kitchen a whole lot more once I get back.
Not that I am a very fussy eater, but I cringe when I remember all the times I have complained about brinjals or bitter gourd. Sometimes it is the most convenient thing to make and until now, I never realized what a pain cooking is. I promise never to complain about food and just eat whatever my mother puts in front of me.
As far as easy to make food is concerned, I have developed new respect for pulav. It is so easy to make and so convenient that I have eaten more rice in the past 6 months that I have in the 2 years before that. But I now officially hate pasta. It happens to be even more convenient to make than pulav but the pasta I eat here does not bear any resemblance to the macaroni my mom makes at home. I have started hating the taste of the pasta sauce and since it is used as a substitute to tomatoes in my house, I have to taste it in anything I eat. It has now become one of the most disgusting tastes in the world. I long for the taste of fresh tomatoes. When I go back home, I think I will order a 200 Re. plate of pasta and will go and give it to some poor guy and take the 4 Re. vada pav he is just about to eat and devour it with relish.
After tasting every kind of cuisine the USA has to offer, I have come to the conclusion that there is no food like Indian food and in that, there is no substitute for what my mother makes. So to all other cuisines in the world, “UP YOURS”