Closed my eyes, took a deep breath, succumbed to a cheek splitting grin and ticked Athens off my ‘travel wish list’. And in the same breath, added the city to my ‘visit again’ list. Literally the first thing I did after returning home from a whirlwind 3 day trip to the grand old city of Athens.
Each year, our neighbour sends over a platter of fasting goodies. It is on this platter that I discovered the singhada ka halva or Indian water chestnut halva.
In a span of 4 years and a few months, Bansari, a Gujarati, moved to Kathmandu with her husband, learned Nepali, started writing poetry in the newly learned language, wrote and performed a play in this new language and is now teaching theatre!
Travelling with a group of strangers can be a challenge for everyone involved and a learning experience too. Depending on the kind of people you’ve been thrown in with, you might forge friendships for life or have your patience tested by a self-centred travelling duo.
Continuing from the gastronomic delight that the food trail had been, one would think I was done with my food adventures in Scotland. Tsk tsk… never underestimate the capacity of a food-loving traveller.
Ask me about the most ‘stressful’ part of travelling and I would say understanding the local habits/culture to avoid a faux pas and buying souvenirs for those at home. Overtly concerned about the first before my Scotland trip since I was travelling alone, I spent a major chunk of my time at the Bristol Airport – while waiting for the flight to Edinburgh – doing some research about the dos and don’ts while in Scotland.
Why is it so difficult to write about food? No. I don’t mean it’s difficult in the sense I can’t find things to write. I say difficult in the sense that there is way too much to write about, to share, to praise, to describe, to… you get the drift.
“Time for a chat to know how your brain works buddy; and some courage to be shared with those looking to step off the trodden path,” I told Dipankar when I decided to share a bit of his life and experience.
Did you know that real estate prices in the Isle of Skye have skyrocketed in recent times and homestay have a six month long waiting period? That is what our charming driver-cum-guide Sean Connery had to say when a fellow tourist asked him the loaded question ‘how has tourism helped locals’.
With so much nostalgia swimming through the house and conversations in a Bengali that is too pure for my understanding, the day and date to make Vegetable Chops was decided in a jiffy. Of course that meant yours truly jumped into the fray, eager to learn.
The hike at Neist Point was one of the several glorious experiences that marked the 3-day tour to Isle of Skye that I booked with the Rabbie’s tour company. This tour set off from Edinburgh at an early hour of day 1, took the group of 16 to Portree in the Isle of Skye and then some prominent spots around on days 2 and 3, before returning to Edinburgh by the evening of day 3.
Khoya is a dairy product that forms the base of several sweet dishes in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Khichuri, my dear friends, is the ultimate one-bowl meal. Made of rice, lentils and vegetables (optional), it is comfort, health, warmth and nostalgia in a bowl.
I even wondered if there is a criterion for ‘inspiring people’. Was it only the rich, famous, powerful or super intelligent who were inspirational?
“Observe the buildings as you walk through the city. The urban landscape would have changed since 1989 but I am sure the character remains unchanged – it was an interesting combination of grit and culture,” my father told me over the phone. This was him persuading me to make a quick trip to Glasgow nearly 29 years after he had made the trip.
One among the Pithe2 family, Patishapta is typically made of rice flour or wheat flour and can be made anytime during the year.
You see, I am among those who’ve made several spur-of-the-moment NY resolutions, forgotten about them by July/August and then sulked. So did 2017 go any different?…
Conversations about travel make me nostalgic not just for the place but food too. I may not mark my attendance at the ‘must visit’ places but I always find my way to the ‘must eat’. Little wonder then writing about Scotland has me craving some whisky and the sinful Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Madame Editor loves gifting too, but unfortunately, it was rather late in the day when she realised that with a packed schedule until Sunday night, she was facing the issue of “What do I gift my friends?” while Didi1 was looking for something to make “with a handful of ingredients”.
Do you remember where we left off in the last post? That bit about me having a near meltdown in the gift store of the Edinburgh Castle? Well…