Being a vegetarian some questions that I constantly face are
"Being a mallu how come you are a vegetarian?"
"How do you manage to survive in different places since you travel a lot"
For the first question the only answer is it's a matter of choice. Second question probably deserves a little more explanation. The longest I have stayed out of home is in Munich, Germany. I somehow managed breakfast and dinner without much problems (read as survived on cornflakes/fruits/bread/chocolates/nuts or even cooked if I got some good company). But for lunch the only choice was company canteen. Always when it's time for lunch I used to have a funny feeling like how you get during exam days - "what's in store? " or "what's my fate today". Anyway I used to gather all my courage n march to the canteen,enter and stare at the menu:
It would read something like this:
Schweinsmedallions mit Sommermajoran
And the feeling that I get would be "WOW looks really good. Nice rhyming words!!" How am I supposed to select from this?? The only way out used to be to go by "looks". (If some of you are wondering why couldn't I ask the people serving there, the problem was they speak only German and my German was too pathetic. Many a times I had attempted but it confused both the parties. Sometimes some counterparts would be kind enough to tell me what it contained or what I should avoid. But mostly I had to manage myself). Anyway coming back to choosing "food" - Couldn't pick any spicy/complicated looking stuff. So a safe option used to be Potatoes, potatoes n more potatoes (in all forms - fried , deep fried, boiled , steamed , raw , mashed, salted ). Else a little bit of vegetables which had a natural look (mostly just boiled) or a piece of bread. And then the most delicious part - the desserts. The dessert collection was really impressive and me being a sweet lover used to indulge royally. But even that wasn't really safe as some of them contained alcohol! Luckily I always managed to take the sweet ones ;) (This also explains why I blow up unlike others who shrinks after an abroad trip)
But while travelling around, finding a suitable place to eat out used to be a problem.. Within Germany I could manage somehow since I can ask for "Pommes frites" , "Gemüse Burger" or "vegetarisch Pizza". But non-german speaking areas used to be the "probleme". So to some places we carry food. But again that was not a pleasant option. I remember how we carried lots of bun n fruits to Sicily(Italy) and by the fourth day we were feeling sick even at the sight of it. We were longing to get back to Rome to eat something spicy
But yeh not everything have gone smoothly.. I have had my share of bloopers as well. Once I was picking up chocolates for home. And there I saw these nice looking red n black chocolate bars n in went some 10-20 of them. Actually that was expensive as well but I thought it will be some exotic ones. Once I reached back home I tried out one n eeks it's bitter n have some funny filling too!!! (Can u guess what it was??). All of them promptly found their way to the waste basket :(
Another one happened in Paris. Since it's a famous tourist spot, we were so confident that we would be able to find Mac Donalds or at least some english speaking people. So didn't take any precautions(read as didn't carry any food), but alas we couldn't find either. We were in Notre Dame and too hungry. A survey of the place revealed that almost all shops sell something called Crepe(A famous French dish. can be considered as a variety of Indian Dosa) in different flavours , but they will mix egg. Somehow that trip was toooooooo tiring and JK was not at all keen in exploring for an alternative. His argument was that anyway I eat cakes n ice creams which contains egg n so can have this also..
Next one in UK. When I landed there I felt really odd. Suddenly I could understand the language and even read the sign boards around me!!! Yeh everything is in English n I know that language!!!! May be with that confidence I went and ordered a veg burger combo in Mac Donalds. They promptly handed over the bag too. As usual I finished off the French fries and started to attack the burgers. One bite n hey something fishy (or meaty).. I had a closer look. The stuffing inside was a white single piece thingy, deep fried, like a hard dried log. Anyway since I was too hungry I didn't bother to question them(and I'm not sure whether it would have made any impacts too) and so removed the filling n ate the bun..
And yet another similar one in leh. During our trip we were so used to eating momos and so when we stopped in a daba, P went and ordered a plate of momos. He didn't specify what since by default they used to give us the veg ones. One bite and Pint realised it's pork. Luckily coz of my eating style I hadn't reached the filling..
May be I'll conclude my post with a cooking blooper. This happened some years ago. 4 of us were staying together out of which me n another girl were veggies. We never used to cook non-veg and rarely if we cook egg, it was always the other two who managed it. Then my other veggie friend got a long term onsite and she decided to convert to a non-veg. As a first step she decided to make egg. Unfortunately that day the other two non-veggies had gone out and we both clueless females were trying to make Omelet. Both of us have only seen the cooked form but had no clue how to make it. We knew what all goes in it but the big question was whether to deep fry, shallow fry or make like dosa!!!! Finally we decided to make it shallow fry (Our theory was it looks oily so there should be a little more oil than dosa kinds). And you can imagine how it would have turned out to be !!! When our other roomies returned they were shocked to see our experiment results. They just couldn't imagine how we managed to spoil a simple omelet like this !!!