It’s been a few years since I ventured to India, but I remember everything about it like I was there yesterday. The sights, the smells, the sounds (the honking. OHHHH, the incessant honking) all are still so fresh. When I was there, for a course to complete my anthropology degree, I took it for granted. Like the majority of my classmates, I spent the greater part of the trip sick, exhausted, constantly sweating (hott) and even more constantly complaining about our third-world conditions. “There are cockroaches in my room!” “There’s no air conditioning on this bus!” “I can’t believe they’re not letting us take a nap!” Yeah. We were a lovely bunch.
Our attitude toward the food wasn’t much different. Instead of letting my curiosity take over and trying the authentic South Indian dishes, my eyes always scanned the menu (if there was one) for two things: Anything non-Indian (which included, on separate occasions: manicotti, pizza, omelettes and apple pie. I KNOW.) and naan. The latter was, nearly every time, our best bet. So, instead of even dipping our fingers into foreign and unfamiliar sauces, a group of us girls would order basket after basket of fresh-baked naan and try to subsist on that. All that bread probably explains why we were so grouchy.33