Sunday, August 19, 2012

Indian Food and Me: A Brief History

Interesting factoid: until about six weeks ago, I didn't eat Indian food. I didn't eat Indian food with a PASSION.

Click here to find out why!

Only really cool kids maintain two blogs and make you come to one just to link you to the other. 

No. I didn't say nerdy. I said cool. 

I'm cool! 

Cool kids don't call themselves cool? 


Sunday, August 12, 2012

How to Rock a Date in Bangalore

Recently I've been considering changing the name of my blog to "Together They Would Move to India and Then He Would Travel and She Would Stay Put" but I'm not sure it's catchy enough to get me a book deal.

I arrived in India 35 days ago. Within my first month Tal had to leave on three different trips in three different countries, totaling 20 days away. I have successfully accompanied him zero times.

It's an intensely convoluted story, but the long and short of it is that India has decided that it was SO complicated to let me INTO the country, that they're not going to let me OUT of the country.

*Le Siiiigh*

Tal's seen so many interesting, beautiful bits of culture and history this month.  And I'm a perfect wife so I'm 100% thrilled for him, and not jealous in the least because our bond is so deep that I'm truly able to experience the world through his eyes.


Bowl. of. Sugar. I'm crazy jealous yo!

But for the time being, there's not much I can do about it so I've been making the most of my time in Bangalore - building friendships, experimenting with new foods and trying not to get run over by a rickeshaw.

Friday night Tal came home from his latest journey, and this time he's going to be here for two straight weeks! A few days before he returned we decided over Skype that we should do something romantic to celebrate our reunion. Any normal couple can have a date, but Ironpeople* and the spouses of Ironpeople don't do "normal" we only do INTENSE, so we decided on a 62 hour marathon date.

Tal arrived home around midnight. He was so excited to see me, and I was REALLY excited too... because a girl from my home town was competing for a medal in the Olympics at 12:35, and I'd managed not to fall asleep.

Like  I said, perfect wife.

Saturday morning I made a huge beautiful brunch - a fluffy Spanish omelet with crispy potatoes, fried plantains with a tart lemon sauce and a small apple & honey fruit salad - none of which I could eat because my stomach and I were at odds with one another. Again.

We spent a lovely afternoon hanging around the apartment basking in each others company and catching up on all of the episodes of Australia Master Chef that Tal missed while he was away. ( The Australian version is SO much better than it's ugly sibling in the U.S.)

We've both been suffering some pretty serious Sushi withdrawal, so for dinner I made us a reservation at a super shmancy restaurant that my coworkers had recommended (blindly, they really don't understand the point or appeal of Sushi). We figured that for a 7:15 reservation, 9 miles away, we should plan to leave around 6. At 6:15 we got a call from the cab driver that he was almost there. At 6:30 Tal called to find out what Mr. Driver's definition of "almost" was.

Is the situation MORE annoying or LESS annoying if I bother you while you're on the phone attempting to track down our rogue driver?
At 6:45 our driver arrived and apologized for being "a little bit late".

The restaurant, Shiro's, is in a fancy mall called UB City, we're talking Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, KFC, private art galleries, etc. etc. 

The restaurant's menu was on an iPad and the options were fantastic. Due to my temperamental tummy, we kept things simple with our sushi, but drinks were another story. Fig infused mojito with fresh sugar cane? Fancy restaurants always have fabulous bathrooms anyway.

Sunday morning we went to the gym (couples who sweat together stay together) and then camped out a nearby cafe for a cozy brunch and deep conversation. We had an intense debate about whether or not Lady Gaga should finish her college degree. 

Together, we'll change the world.

In the afternoon we went to see the new Bourne movie at a nearby... you guessed it, mall. (They're REALLY into malls here.)

Traditional Indian Movie Snacks.

After the movie we were super proud of ourselves because we successfully haggled with several rickshaw drivers until we got ourselves a ride at a completely fair price. When we handed over the agreed upon fare and started climbing out, the driver informed us that we still owed him twenty rupees. Twenty rupees is only about fifty cents, but that's not. the. point. After arguing for a minute, we saw an opening in the on coming traffic and used it as an opportunity to sprint away. But we were certain that the driver was a genetically modified government weapon and was surely hot on our trail. We wove our way through traffic, ducked behind cows and totally did Jason proud when we finally lost the angry driver by camouflaging ourselves amongst the shoppers in a local grocery store.

Ok. He didn't really follow us, and he probably wasn't a government operative. Aaaand to be honest we sort of stick out like a sore thumb everywhere we go in our neighborhood. But wouldn't that have been an awesome story?

Sunday night I took advantage of two of my absolute favorite things about Bangalore; 1. Food prices 2. Anything you desire can be delivered to your doorstep.

Our hearts desired that I make a pound of garlic prawns with capers in a white wine reduction, tossed with whole wheat pasta.

Clearly I did not take this picture. But I did make the food!  Team work.

Peeled, de-veined, delivered (for $3.50?) India, I'm yoooours.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

She Actually Cooked This Time!

Check out my chickpea cooking adventures on my food blog!

Chole Pindi

Chole Palak

Lalbagh Gardens & The Bull Temple: Pictures!

I met my friend Emma the summer before my senior year of high school. We were both attending  an intensive theatre program at a college in upstate NY. She was my favorite person there from day one. Nine years later I don't remember a single thing I learned in those three weeks (including the names of any of the other participants) but Emma remains one of my absolute favorite people.

When I met up with Emma in April for one of our typical theatre and sushi outings, and broke the news about my big move, I wasn't surprised at all when the first words out of her mouth were "I'm coming to visit".

Exploring the Lalbagh Gardens in Bangalore with Emma and her Mom. They made a weekend stop in Bangalore and then went on to explore more of India.

Amazing tree.

The staff at the gardens are working hard to prepare the plantings for a big festival in mid-August.

The Glass House, behind us, was built in 1890 to resemble the Crystal Palace in London. Twice a year, for major festivals, the structure is completely filled with a multi-level, carefully curated flower display.

My face looks like that because I had to take my shoes off, and the floor of the open air temple was gross. (It was still worth it.)

My favorite part of the day was the gardens behind the Bull Temple. It was completely green and lush, unlike any other part of the city I've seen to-date. But the coolest part was that every single one of the trees was FILLED with giant sleeping bats.