India Bound

Sunrise at 5.30 am Sunset at 7.05 pm

Location: Mussoorie and Delhi, India

Engaging in wild acts of exploration and inquisition.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Eating on the Street

There is a definite art to vegetable arrangement here, and I think farmer's markets in the States could really learn a thing or two. Most of the time I haven't a clue what half the vegetables here are, but I started an experiment of buying the strangest looking ones, steaming them and eating them with soy sauce to see if I could recognize their taste. So far have eaten pumkiny looking things, various root vegetables and odd looking squashes as well as several leafy looking things that I suppose were in the spinach family.

And of course, what a better place for a locksmith to be...Also the papaya stand in front of our house - I've only just recently perfected how to tell when a papaya is ripe. But man, they are sososo good and your knife just cuts through them like butter.

There are amazing fruit juices here, but its always sort of a gamble to drink juice at them - I'm pretty sure that one time it was fresh pomegranite juice lead to my demise. Another delicious, but fried as usual, street snack are pani puri - which are puffed up fried balls that you poke a hole in a stuff with spiced potato and chickpeas and then you sort of float the ball in a salty flavored water with sweet chutney and drink/eat the whole thing. Sort of hard to describe, but this is a pani puri stand that is in front of our house.

A cycle rickshaw passing in front of the neighborhood shanty town and women carrying heavy loads of sticks on their head attempting to get on the bus. Busses here don't stop for people to get on and off of them - people run alongside them and hop and and off the best they can.

There are carts and stands for all sorts of foods...this guy makes omlettes on command and this is my favorite fruit wallah.

This is the dairy where we buy fresh yogurt and rosewater lassi every day - those big white blocks are paneer (Indian cheese), and also the store fronts down the street from us.

This is the neighborhood's Gudwara...and a cow eating trash, which is one of their favorite things to do - that and wander into the street and block traffic, or try to get inside of shops or lay down in the most inconvenient place possible

The Sehgal family who live above us have become our surrogate Indian family, and every moment when they aren't doing their homework we have Vibhu and Vasu, the twin 9-year-old boys doing cartwheels around our flat. They are really smart little tykes and have a wicked sense of humor and I have to say that after having an exausting day in the Delhi heat it is really nice to come home and wrestle with them a bit. This is also a picture of the Ekda brushing her daughter, Pranshu's hair. Having very short hair, I don't think most Indian men view me as a woman, which means I am "accidentally grabbed" half as much as girls with long hair.

I took a walk down my street, digital camera in hand, and elliciting many stares and a great amount of enthusiasm from the fruit vendors who all wanted their photo taken, I took a few pictures of what an afternoon on Kingsway Camp Road, North Delhi looks like.

Everything happens in the streets of India - a close shave and a haircut, fruit and vegetable sales, sleeping men and children, cows wandering here and there, and most of all there are the food vendors selling fried everything. My favorite are the barbequed corn stands where for 5 rupees you get a charred piece of corn with salt and lemon - so tasty!

At the risk of doing that "look at these poor animals/crazy sights!" thing, these are the fish/poultry stands on my street.