How can I ask for a Mad Angles Tomato Mischief and not feel a little emasculated?
I’m trying to do India cheaply even though it’s a country that begs to be splurged upon for both mental and physical health reasons, so I rarely eat meat. It’s all for the better. I am losing weight day by day, it feels, and walking everywhere, much more than a sane man would in the heat. OK, fine, I’ll just come out and say it: I’m pretty sexy right now.
Someone told me to keep my eyes open for a mango drink called Mangola, which I have searched thoroughly for and have yet to see. It sounds like part of a great science fiction/horror movie title: “It came from MANGOLA! In theatres now! Rated R!”
There are a couple of excellent mango drinks made by Coke and Pepsi that should be distributed worldwide, Maaza and Slice. Coca-Cola and Pepsi have bought out all their drink competition in India. The once iconic cola, Thum’s Up (sic), is now a Coke product. It’s just not right.
In Jaipur I eat two of these every day for breakfast, a Rajasthan specialty, I was assured. It is kind of like a samosa but with less filling and with curd on top. What's funny is that the guy sticks his thumb into the pastry and then adds curd. It is like if you ordered a jelly donut and the guy takes a pastry, inserts his thumb and fills it with jelly.
Why yes, I drink Intimate bottled water. Other waters just don't have the same level of discretion I desire.
No hamburgers. Paneer is a kind of tasteless soft white cheese. A McAloo Tiki? God only knows, though 'aloo' is potato. 'Chicken Maharaja Mac' sounds better than 'Chicken Sandwich' or 'Chicken Fillet' or whatever it's called, you have to admit. I haven't eaten here, but I'm curious to try a McAloo Tiki.
A sugar cane press. Big fan of sugar cane juice, though not a fan of the common glass everyone shares to drink it. They put a lime chunk in the press, too, for a nice twist and if you don't tell them, they will put salt in the glass as well, just as they put salt on their slices of watermelon. This isn't an India-only phenomenon, but this sick practice must be stamped out everywhere in the world. Jihad!
A menu for a cheap place in Jaipur. If you haven't been to India in a while, the prices will surprise you. If you have never been here before and just arrived from Europe, it's crazy-cheap.
Potatoes and chickpeas with chapati. This kind of thing is very common and very good.
In India you have to be on your toes for even the simplest of transactions like buying water which can be fraught with danger. Below is a short video showing guys refilling water bottles in the Varanasi train station with “government supply” water. It’s not fun and not uncommon to open a bottle of water, think to yourself that it seemed to open too easily, and then find that it doesn’t quite taste right. Can you see the video?
Mangola is now Slice.
Well, they might just be using the bottles to transport water home… but yes, it’s true, and I’m pretty sure that one of my bouts of “Irovy rollar coaster” was a result of a refilled bottle.
Wow, that’s a “cheap” place? Like Kent-Cheap? Prices have gone up!
Ready to get out already?
DON’T EAT THE MCDONALDS!