Wanderlust. I write about it so often. Yearning is lovely.
But sometimes, the joy of travelling is not in the yearning; it’s in the humour. It’s in the crazy things that happen all the time, all around us.
When I travel, I try to eat things that are typical to the place I’m visiting. It was Spaghetti Bolognese in Bologna, though I dislike pork. Fishy things in Calcutta, though I don’t like fish. You know.
But sometimes, local food is unaffordable, or just inaccessible. Then, I try to get something that I can finish on my own – and roti sabzi does not fit the bill. I can never finish it.
In Chandrapur, about 150 km away from Nagpur, I was at a hotel that served nothing typical of the region. So, I came to the second option. What could I finish?
Why not? Chinese food in India is uniquely Indian-Chinese, and has regional variations. Lasagna in a small town could be fun too.
So I ordered my lasagna.
“Soup?” the waiter asked me.
I politely refused.
“Papad?” he offered.
That was a first. Never have I been offered papad with lasagne. I was too surprised to do anything but refuse.
And then, halfway through my meal, he asked if I would like limbu-kanda. (Lemon and onions, often served as alternatives to pickle to accompany food.)
I refused. Again.
But now, I think maybe I should have accepted and given it a shot. I would have got some version of something uniquely local.