- And now the young girl is married ready to go around the world and has no clue how real things are going to get in the kitchen – but let’s just peek into her travels far away from here and laugh.
Honeymoon travels – a journey of discovery in so many more ways than just one. Suddenly my boyfriend was someone I was tied to and we both had no freaking clue on how to handle ourselves. We had been the best of friends and now we were hesitant acquaintances. Malaysia was where we were experiencing the strain of what a marriage is supposed to be like. But what broke the ice was food – we rediscovered our mutual love and hate for certain dishes – and got comfortable again. Thus begins our no cooking adventure around the world.
Around the World Pt 1–
Malaysia – Truly Asia – Eh Not Really!
We discovered we were pigs at the breakfast buffet – we still are. And I am worse ‘cos generally I don’t even eat breakfast!!! We hated the tangy sweet peanut taste of every bloody thing that was a Malaysian delicacy. Every.Bloody.Thing. When we had left India bird flu had broken out in a big way – why is that important you're wondering – wait for it!
Around the world -II - It Should've Been Bird Flu
Since we hated the Malaysian cuisine so much, we pretty much stuck to Burger King and MacDonald’s. Generally my husband used to order the food (yeah I was really young – and not that assertive).
This one time he was busy checking out a store and he asked me to order him a Chicken burger at McD's. It was almost 5 in the evening and I was really hungry (that was our lunch) so I decide to have a big Mac. We sat down to eat and after a couple of bites I felt the chicken tasted weird. I asked H (husband) how he liked his burger and giving me a cheeky smile he said it was fine. I kept quiet and went on to eat the burger. Halfway through I looked at the meat and instantly felt weird – it was too dark. I told H that probably these guys were selling meat of birds who had just contracted bird flu. He laughed and said everything was fine. 2 bites left and the guy tells me that I'd been eating a beef burger.
A BEEF burger!!! Me A Pure Brahmin (Not that I cared but you know BEEF). I never ordered another meal again! Suddenly chicken becomes beef as we got travelling around the world - I wasnt so travel savvy after all!
Be Indian, Eat Indian but Not Around the World of the Malaysian Subcontinent
By the fifth day of the Honeymoon, we were both rabid for Indian food. We were sick of burgers and everything else. Like typical desis we went to Little India, it was as messy and dusty as India is. Nalli silks abounded and we ate South Indian food – but that didn’t help any. Sheer desperation drove us to one of the Chatwal restaurants where we proceeded to pay through our nose for a halfway decent Indian meal. We were so stuffed we practically rolled out of the restaurant.
On a lame trip to a small resort near Kuala Lumpur we happened to come across a Thomas Cook group – all Indians. Though we were befuddled by their counting numbers before getting into the bus, we quickly realised where there were Indians, there would be Indian food. We set our target on the group's guide – a really sweet non-Indian guy. In the course of our conversation we casually mentioned how we missed Indian food. Score! He happily invited us to join the buffet dinner that would be served to the group. On hindsight we should’ve remembered that there are no free lunches – and if they are free they are most assuredly lousy!
On our Island getaway to Langkawi we were staying at the Taj. It was a beautiful little island with a Marina. We loved it except for the fact that we had to depend on a boat to take us mainland. We spoke to the manager (a nice Indian guy) about not knowing that the location was so cut off from the mainland. As a courtesy he offered us a beach villa (woohoo) and the services of the chef to prepare whatever we liked. You can imagine what happened next – like demented people we started talking about how much we missed Indian food (yeah I know we were the worst couple ever!). Sure enough we landed a nice Indian meal – and this one was actually nice!
Malaysia was a cold place ( in terms of hospitality) but that worked out well for us as we rediscovered ourselves and forgot to be awkward about being husband and wife. We hated the couldn't care less attitude of all the staff in every hotel we stayed at (except Taj Langkawi) and found ourselves sometimes abusing them in Hindi when they were annoying. After ten days of doing this we found ourselves slipping up a couple of times in Delhi and letting loose a good abuse!
Though we didn’t realise the food situation was only about to get worse, (with me having to cook food after work!)We headed back to Delhi secure in the knowledge that we had survived our honeymoon (and whoever tells you that there was no moment of concern in theirs is either lying or just dead inside). It was a journey where we lost sight of who we were and found ourselves in bond stronger than before.
More travels to look forward to and also the eventual craze for beef by yours truly and a total disconnect with Indian food. But for that you will have to wait for my next around the world installment of Chetna’s No Cooking adventure.
If you ever wonder why my headings are so weird and repetitive, please give full credit to Manav Paul!
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