Sunday, April 14, 2013


I have been traveling so much lately.  I can't say I don't love it--especially when it means leaving a still-wintry Sweden for a warmer clime.  Honestly, it's because of these trips that I have a mild impression of my first Swedish winter.  It ain't that bad if you ain't here for stretches of it!

It had been about 4 years since I'd been to India (since my Urban Outfitters days).  I was in Delhi and Bangalore this trip.  And, as in the past, I much prefer the south/Bangalore.  I really really want to visit Pondicherry one of these times, just for funsies.  A coastal Indian city with French colonial undercurrents... sounds like a dream!

I travel most often by myself, but then I go around with folks from our offices once I am on location.  I enjoy traveling by myself; I mostly prefer it.  It's sort of a pain when I roll off a looooong flight and have to navigate passport-stamping and cash-getting and taxi-finding (more like, taxi-trusting.... There's often a lot of "Is this person really taking me to where I want to go?" going through my jetlaggy brain) by myself.  But I've rather got it down to a science now.  Still, having a travel buddy means I can be a little less vigilant.  I trust no one when I travel by myself.  My momma didn't raise no rube.

So what was I getting at?  Oh yeah, I had some weird apprehensions about this trip.  Most likely because of the high profile gang rape some months ago and all of the cultural issues it brought to light.  I was with colleagues from work the whole time or stayed in or near the hotel otherwise, so everything was fine and the most threatened I ever felt was by a crazy alien formation of bees on attack outside of a store in Koramangala.  But still, it's good to be aware of what's bubbling in this crazy world of ours, even if it's not always so nice.

Now onto the photos!

Things in bloom on the way to a supplier in Bangalore.  Pretty pretty.

Another gorgeous tree at one of the suppliers.

Mind the thorns!

Rusty truck.  This one's not so indicative of the brightly painted trucks on the streets in India.  But the rusted out effect is really top-notch, you must agree.


Wires + floral frame.

If you're a FB or Instagram friend, you know how in love with the local dogs I was.  I was fantasizing about moving to Delhi and opening up a doggie spa to clean and shelter the beautiful pariah dogs (or "Delhi dingos" as I affectionately called them).  Here are a couple of my favorites.

Such sweet babies.

I tried some new eats on this trip.  I also tried to maintain my gluten-free status but found my reserves weak when faced with some freshly baked naan or, even better, parantha.  Every meal seemed to check my "special occasion" box, so that I could override my anti-gluten rule.  Oh well....

This is idli, one of my new favorites.  It's a steamed, rice-based cake that you top with sambar or chutney.  It's gluten-free and seems pretty healthy on account of its being steamed and not fried.  (But damn, if they fried these things.... NEXT.  LEVEL.)

While we're on the topic of yummy new things I tried (though not of the gluten-free variety), I had some delicious, piping hot poori that I definitely did not regret crossing dietary lines for.  If you feel like your lunch has been lacking flair, order a poori and watch others be jelly.  

I also loved the nommy vadai that were on the breakfast buffet at the hotel.  They've got me dreaming of grinding my own dal and frying some of these at home.  I should do it, right?

Insta-shot of the vegetarian-only microwave at our office in Bangalore.  Of course, there is a meat-friendly counterpart.  

I went to a local spot with a few colleagues from our Bangalore office.  (I knew it was local because dudes were a little "leer-y" on the walk there and, well, because the walk there involved some tricky Frogger moves.)  Because it was so "local", I was fairly certain that this outing was going to be my digestive downfall.  Drinking beer seemed like the safest option (despite its glutenous bent) and next thing I knew, THIS CONTRAPTION was on our table.  We shared some "veg" plates that were hellishly spicy (but in a good way) and I was certain that all of our spoons in the same peanut masala was gonna have me in the bathroom all night.  But somehow, I was unscathed!  Lucky me!

By the way, nommy nommy peanut masala is my new favorite drinky snack...  

This is a crappy shot of a delicious uttapam I enjoyed for lunch one day.  I could eat that white coconut curry (2 o'clock on the plate above) on just about anything.

So that was India.  I had a wonderful wonderful trip.  I was fantasizing about moving to Bangalore while I was there, if that tells you anything.  But it goes against my rule about not living anywhere I can't drink the water.  (THIS IS A GOOD RULE.)  Also, I do like to be able to go where I want, when I want, by myself if I want.  So that wouldn't work either.  But still, India is really incredible.  I can't wait to go back this fall.