Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I bet you ain't never had no Mint Mischief potato chips

So I'm observing that one of the fun - and exhausting - things about living in a foreign country is that even normal daily things like going to the grocery store are completely new and exciting. After a day and a half of Clif bars and one pricey restaurant meal, I ventured into an Indian grocery store called Spencer's. One of my flatmates, an Indian, told me that I should either have groceries delivered (which all the stores do) or ask the housekeeper, Clara, to pick them up, but before I can do that I had to figure out what my options are. Here's what I got.
  • Two packages of these amazing fresh flatbread things. Tortillas are the closest thing that come to mind, but they're thicker and a tiny bit greasy.
  • Some dried and salted broad beans
  • Basmati rice
  • Green beans
  • A papaya (I had to ask an Indian woman how to choose a good papaya. She got me a good one, but she didn't speak English so I still don't know how she picked it.)
  • A bunch of these crazy tiny bananas
  • Potatoes
  • A pomegranate
  • Some ginger / garlic paste
  • The aforementioned Mint Mischief potato chips
  • Gouda cheese (Oh yeah, it won't really work to not eat dairy here. Plus, it's not an ethical consideration because cows are treated so well. And there's no soy - sadness! - so I would probably waste away without the protein. Weird, but okay.)
  • Onions

The bill came to Rs. 422.13, or about 11 dollars.

What else? I guess I didn't write this yesterday, but by the end of the day yesterday I was so sick to death of being stared at. I know I stand out appearance-wise and I was expecting it to some degree, but still. Today was better though, and I had some fun exchanges with strangers. The book vendor laughed when I asked him how I should have bargained with him (instead of paying list price). Maybe next time I'll actually do so. I also walked a little farther than I did yesterday to some pretty big and commercial streets a couple kilometers from my apartment. I'm starting to get why people call Bangalore cosmopolitan. You really can see every kind of person here - it's pretty great. I haven't yet gotten up the nerve to take out my camera very much (as I'm conspicuous enough as it is), but I will one of these days. I want to try and show you all what this city looks like. It's pretty amazing.


Holly said...

awesome :-) sorry to hear about the dairy bit, but then again, it sounds like a realistic position.

By the way you should know that you inspired me to buy a really cute hat the other day. which I am wearing to work today!

Love reading the updates!! How did the mint mischief potato chips taste??

Anna said...

I know, it's a little weird about the dairy, but I don't want to be dragging my old cultural assumptions and relevancies to a new culture, so I'll get used to it.

I'm excited for you about your hat! They make life fun, huh?

Mint Mischief potato chips were fabulous, dahling. I would send some but I think they'd get all crushed up in the mail. You'll just have to come to India and try them yourself!

Zach said...

Haha - that's pretty funny.

Anna said...

Yeah, I thought so. I had Masala Magic chips yesterday too. :)

Zach said...

Gross! Really? I like Chicken Masala, but… chips?! Amazing. How long are you going to be out there? Do you have a couch for visitors?

Anna said...

YES, I have a couch for visitors. That would amazing if you came! I'd take time off work so we could travel around beyond Bangalore. India is unreal.

Ronalee said...

Good post.