Wonderful Cuisine and Domestic Details

The food here in India is fabulous.

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Our Guest House dining hall.

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Aloo with mixed vegetables

I love the curries [paneer (cheese), aloo (potato), mixed vegetables, and occasionally chicken] and dals (lentils) of all colors and sizes. All served with chipati [flat bread] and curds (raita)– aka yogurt perhaps mixed with onions, mint, cucumber, tomato, and spices.

Fried aloo or cauliflower paranthas for breakfast-  with plain curds or chutney.

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Black lentil dal with kidney beans (and dollops of more butter!)

Sunder, our cook (center above), is always ready with a meal and at first offered to make me American food. I think he loves that I love Indian food, and especially his yummy dishes. Bring on the spice! The homemade curds cut the heat and are so tasty.

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Raita with yellow grams (chick peas).

I have to stay away from the tap water. But tea is plentiful and Krishna and Bunty (far left above) keep me supplied.

I also avoid the fresh vegetables. If it’s not cooked, I need to peel it. So, I am dying for these lovely tomatoes but they are off limits. BTW, those are carrots in the lower left on top of radishes, also off limits. Sad.

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Tomatoes with chilis, carrots, onions and radishes.

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Curried soft cheese.

Indians love sweets. I posted Shveta’s picture of me with Aarza and Seerat at the sweet shop. We now go weekly!

I have not found a scale yet but the Indian Punjabi “suits” that I bought are perfect for hiding a few extra kilos. When I wore a suit yesterday to class, my students were so pleased to see that I had adopted their fashion.

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My room

My room is spacious and very comfortable, overlooking the sports field and courts. I especially appreciate the very firm mattress covered by a comfy stuffed duvet.

I have a small kettle and can make tea for myself or just boil water. I have a flat screen and turned it on but I find Indian television as jarring and irritating as American shows so I keep it off. I do miss my music, though. Pandora does not have a license in India.IMG_0987

Recently, the tech guys set up a temporary router for internet access but the electricity goes out often and so does the wi-fi. The rains have caused some temporary flooding (even on the second floor of the building that houses the gym). However, the sun and wind dry everything quickly. I was expecting the weather to be hot but it’s been quite mild and at times chilly. I appreciate the space heater that Krishna found for me.

When I first arrived, I could not figure out how to get hot water. I did not realize that you have to turn on the electrical outlet for the heater! Duh. I also was slow to figure out that hot was on the right side of the faucet at the sink but on the left side in the shower. Tricky!

This commode and paper are a luxury here in India. I am so grateful for this washroom. Many Indian facilities are the style that one uses standing or squatting– not easy in pantyhose at a conference for a woman with weak knees. I also carry paper and soap wherever I go.

These little details may seem indiscreet or minor. However, add it all up and one gets an idea for how much of an effort it takes to adjust to daily routines. Rich but at times stressful. So now, you’ve received the letter from abroad!

Mailbox outside the RGNUL post office.

Mailbox outside the RGNUL post office.

I am so glad to have had the opportunity to encounter these new routines. I will so appreciate the familiarity of those at home when I return…. And, I suspect I will miss the ones here. I know that I will miss Sunder and his gentlemen assistants, Krishna and Bunty. I have appreciated their care, efforts, and tasty meals!

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About Jennifer Drobac

R. Bruce Townsend Professor of Law Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law~ I began my journey in the San Francisco Bay area. A student at CPS in Oakland and then at Stanford University, I worked for several years before attending law school, again at Stanford. A trip around the world after taking the California Bar introduced me to more distant lands than I had seen during school days. I returned to clerk for Judge Barefoot Sanders in Dallas, Texas where I gave birth to Michal McDowell-- the best first born daughter and future doctor one can imagine. When she was two, we moved to Santa Cruz, California where I opened my own law practice. After I earned my doctoral degree (in law) at Stanford, I hit the road again and settled here in Indiana where I teach at IU McKinney. As I anticipate exploring the world again as a Fulbright Specialist (starting in India), I start this blog. A travel log of adventures in midlife!
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