Namaste from India! - VeggieBoards
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 08-22-2011, 01:19 PM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
Can I just say... India is amazing!

The food is wonderful here. I'm holed up in a 5-star (Indian stars?) vegetarian-only hotel that serves the most delicious food. However, I have to be careful because they like to slip dairy into things that I don't recognize as dairy.

My first two days here I was loving up on something called paneer until I found out in horror that it was made from milk. Milk curd is also a popular ingredient for many dishes here.

The exchange rate here is so ridiculous, it's sad. I tip just about everyone (from room service to buffet waiters and cab drivers [people you don't normally tip, according to my Indian cohorts]) approximately 10 rupees each time I need them. It has the effect of tipping someone of similar occupation in the US $10. However, 10 rupees is less than $0.25! It really makes me sit back and gape in awe at how much I do not appreciate the money I make and how easily I waste it away. And then, I become even more depressed when I realize how much f'ing debt I'm in and exactly how much frakkin money that really is!

The culture here is amazing. Though, I have mixed feelings about the prevalence of Western influence here. While it's convenient that most everyone speaks English (thick accents notwithstanding), I've come to learn that their native tongue, Hindi, while in theory is one of the two official languages, it's actually treated like a second-class tongue. Educational institutions in India forbid the use of Hindi while in class from a very young age and there are even many Indians today, I am told, who do not even know how to speak Hindi and even more who can speak it well enough but are more literate in English than they are in Hindi, if they even know any Hindi at all!

Western influence is also easily seen visually as well. Not only is English plastered everywhere--more so than Hindi I'd say but models of European decent are used in so much advertising here it's crazy. According to Indian co-workers here, products sell better when you put a Western face on it.

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 08-22-2011, 01:22 PM
Veggie Regular
 
*AHIMSA*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 10,728
I was wondering where you were!

How long are you there for? I am so interested in visiting India!

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
*AHIMSA* is offline  
#3 Old 08-22-2011, 01:49 PM
Veggie Regular
 
sequoia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5,299
I was wondering too I'm glad you're enjoying yourself.

"If you are lonely when you're alone, you are in bad company."
Jean-Paul Sartre
sequoia is offline  
#4 Old 08-22-2011, 03:41 PM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
Quote:
Originally Posted by *AHIMSA* View Post

I was wondering where you were!

How long are you there for? I am so interested in visiting India!

Five more weeks!

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#5 Old 08-22-2011, 05:19 PM
Veggie Regular
 
fadeaway1289's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 10,324
Wow what a fascinating experience you must be having. I'm glad you are having a good time. Are you there for work?
fadeaway1289 is offline  
#6 Old 08-23-2011, 02:02 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,160
I've noticed in Bollywood movies the heroine/love interest of the protagonist is always a very light-skinned woman, often with Western features.

Sounds like you're having a great time! Whereabouts in India are you?
Earthling is offline  
#7 Old 08-23-2011, 03:16 AM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
Quote:
Originally Posted by fadeaway1289 View Post

Wow what a fascinating experience you must be having. I'm glad you are having a good time. Are you there for work?

I am! I'm teaching our Indian employees how to use our data systems.

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#8 Old 08-23-2011, 03:24 AM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthling View Post

I've noticed in Bollywood movies the heroine/love interest of the protagonist is always a very light-skinned woman, often with Western features.

Sounds like you're having a great time! Whereabouts in India are you?

I don't know if that's directly related to the West, though. I think India has always been geared towards light skin = beauty because the higher classes/castes tended to be light-skinned even before modern Western influence... alas, I believe this is true from the scant materials I've read about India.

It's actually interesting because I never realized how big and diverse India actually is! They have many people who I would, without context of location, think were actually European but they are, in fact, Indian. There are many people here who look as if they just jumped off the plane from France or Italy but they are simply light-complected (?) Indians. There are also Indians who I would think, without context, were East Asian (e.g., Japanese, Chinese, etc) but they, too, in fact are Indian. And then, there are still others who have a complexion as dark as anyone of African background. Completely fascinating.

I think the Bollywood trend you mention might have always been internal to India. But what I've been noticing is actually the use of Western models and images in a lot of Indian advertising because, traditionally, foreigners were considered below even the lowest caste as outsiders. But, then again, while some of them are definitely images of European men and women, many may just be fairly-complected Indians! In fact, twice now I've asked a friend why there was a European-looking man or woman on an advertisement and learned that (s)he was very much Indian and quite famous!

There's just something giddy about having my own assumptions shattered that makes me giddy!

In any case, my internet connection is spotty thus I have been absent.

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#9 Old 08-23-2011, 04:48 AM
Ex-*****
 
Indian Summer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: England
Posts: 5,391
Hey, maybe you can recruit some Indian members for VB while you're there? I'd think there is some potential in a country with so many vegetarians

I no longer post here after VB was sold in 2012. (See my profile page for details.)
Indian Summer is offline  
#10 Old 08-23-2011, 05:19 AM
Veggie Regular
 
dormouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,609
Sounds awesome, JoBravo!
dormouse is offline  
#11 Old 08-23-2011, 05:34 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Summer View Post

Hey, maybe you can recruit some Indian members for VB while you're there? I'd think there is some potential in a country with so many vegetarians

A recent conversation with an Indian lady sugests that many Indians would not understand the concept of a vegetarian forum.

The lady in question told me that untill she arrived in England she had never known that non-vegetarians actualy exist.

Just thinking that for some one from where she came from that a vegetarian only forum would make as much as sense as having a forum that was only for people with heads.
Clueless Git is offline  
#12 Old 08-23-2011, 05:44 AM
Veggie Regular
 
yally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,922
Where abouts are you jb?
yally is offline  
#13 Old 08-23-2011, 07:15 AM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
Quote:
Originally Posted by yally View Post

Where abouts are you jb?

I'm in Ghaziabad, which is right outside of New Delhi.

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#14 Old 08-23-2011, 07:20 AM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless Git View Post

A recent conversation with an Indian lady sugests that many Indians would not understand the concept of a vegetarian forum.

The lady in question told me that untill she arrived in England she had never known that non-vegetarians actualy exist.

Just thinking that for some one from where she came from that a vegetarian only forum would make as much as sense as having a forum that was only for people with heads.

Indeed, while there are a few omnivores here, especially amongst the younger generation, many would find the purpose and need for a vegetarian-only forum quite odd. They wouldn't need or even understand the need for a place specifically for veg*ns to support and interact with one another.

You might as well ask them to join a Hindu Fellowship and Support forum! These things are only relevant where they serve a minority.

Also, I'm not sure that many of them have chosen to be vegetarian so much as simply are vegetarian due to custom and family tradition. I don't think many of them see vegetarianism as a choice one makes to be ethical but rather as a choice one makes to be more religious. In fact, those with whom I have spoken have found the idea of ethical veganism to be rather novel.

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#15 Old 08-23-2011, 07:25 AM
Veggie Regular
 
veganmama884's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 824
sooooo jealous!!!!!

~The more you sweat the less you bleed~
***Come gather at our table***
http://ourtable1.blogspot.com/
***The road to Thermopylae***
http://theroadtothermopylae.blogspot.com/2011/09/huge-change-of-plans.html
veganmama884 is offline  
#16 Old 08-23-2011, 05:47 PM
Beginner
 
SurferGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 127
Great hearing from you and living vicariously from what you are seeing, experiencing and eating. Travel is among the best of life's experiences.

Have to kid you a little....you express concern about western influences....and you are there teaching data systems?

Have a great time!
SurferGirl is offline  
#17 Old 08-24-2011, 03:12 PM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
Quote:
Originally Posted by SurferGirl View Post

Great hearing from you and living vicariously from what you are seeing, experiencing and eating. Travel is among the best of life's experiences.

Have to kid you a little....you express concern about western influences....and you are there teaching data systems?

Have a great time!

That's not even half of it. I think it's a complete shame that American companies are sending jobs overseas (and continue to get tax cuts) with our unemployment rate so high yet here I am... the littlest cog in that wheel.

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#18 Old 08-25-2011, 06:45 PM
Beginner
 
SurferGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoBravo View Post

That's not even half of it. I think it's a complete shame that American companies are sending jobs overseas (and continue to get tax cuts) with our unemployment rate so high yet here I am... the littlest cog in that wheel.

Oooh, yes, JB and then the cog makes the machine....yikes!

Anyway, keep us posted. We are enjoying your anecdotes.

Be safe and have fun.
SurferGirl is offline  
#19 Old 08-28-2011, 03:13 PM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
One would think it would be easy to be a vegan in India.... It's not. Mind you, you have more options than you do in the States but there are milk-products every where. And it really does no good to ask whether there are milk products in something. While about 75% of the people you meet do speak plenty of English, chances are, you'll run into someone handling your food at some point that doesn't. What's more, "animal products" and "milk-products" don't have the same all-encompassing meaning here--the former like asking if something is meat-free and the latter literally restricted to milk.

You have to ask a whole string of questions to get the whole picture and several times I've come to find that there was butter in something I assured did not have any milk-products. And then I get answers like, "It has butter but but not the kind from milk", which makes me even MORE nervous about what I'm eating! LOL

It's irritating but as I had little notice I was coming here, I did not have time to learn the language well enough to prepare. Just got to muddle though with a smile and try to avoid anything that looks suspiciously like cheese, milk curd (real big thing here), and butter.

India is a vegetarian's dream, though! I'd recommend it as a place to check out for any vegetarians and just drive right in! (Except, obviously, you need to drink bottled water and only eat cooked foods.)

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#20 Old 08-28-2011, 03:30 PM
Ex-*****
 
Indian Summer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: England
Posts: 5,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoBravo View Post

And then I get answers like, "It has butter but but not the kind from milk", which makes me even MORE nervous about what I'm eating! LOL

From what I know about Indian food, I would think they're talking about real ghee (clarified butter) vs vegetable ghee made from plant oils (canola, soya etc) which is cheaper.

I no longer post here after VB was sold in 2012. (See my profile page for details.)
Indian Summer is offline  
#21 Old 09-07-2011, 04:48 AM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
So I've been here 3 weeKs and got my first bout of serious food poisoning from the hotel kitchen. I think the brass warmers that they kept the dal makhni, my favorite dish, in may not have been properly cleaned or otherwise the dish was not heated to a high enough temperature.

I've been holed up in my room for 2 days because, on the first night, I had a fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. My fever broke late last night and I am no longer vomiting. However, I'm now wary of the food even at a 5-star hotel like the one where I'm staying.

I almost only feel safe eating fried foods and packaged food. Oh, what I wouldn't give for PB&J or vegan tacos right now.

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#22 Old 09-07-2011, 07:47 AM
Veggie Regular
 
mollycakes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoBravo View Post

So I've been here 3 weeKs and got my first bout of serious food poisoning from the hotel kitchen. I think the brass warmers that they kept the dal makhni, my favorite dish, in may not have been properly cleaned or otherwise the dish was not heated to a high enough temperature.

I've been holed up in my room for 2 days because, on the first night, I had a fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. My fever broke late last night and I am no longer vomiting. However, I'm now wary of the food even at a 5-star hotel like the one where I'm staying.

I almost only feel safe eating fried foods and packaged food. Oh, what I wouldn't give for PB&J or vegan tacos right now.

Hope you feel better soon! Can you take pepto bismal?
India sounds amazing sans the food poisoning (but that can happen anywhere) hope the rest of your trip is mentally nourishing!

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.
mollycakes is offline  
#23 Old 09-08-2011, 01:23 PM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollycakes View Post

Hope you feel better soon! Can you take pepto bismal?
India sounds amazing sans the food poisoning (but that can happen anywhere) hope the rest of your trip is mentally nourishing!

Thanks! And I didn't think to bring Tylenol or Pepto with me.

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#24 Old 09-08-2011, 01:24 PM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
If anyone's interested, here are some pictures of my first few days in India.

There aren't a whole lot but I'm not here on vacation, so I only get to go out on the weekend afternoons.

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#25 Old 09-08-2011, 04:53 PM
Veggie Regular
 
fadeaway1289's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 10,324
^Oh wow those are some awesome pics!! Hope Bear??? (cute) It's beautiful there and your hotel looks pretty kick ass as well. The garden looks amazing and so does everything else! What an incredible experience you must be having. Those gifts you got were really cool as well. Love the painting and the elephant. Are you feeling any better?
fadeaway1289 is offline  
#26 Old 09-09-2011, 03:39 AM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
Quote:
Originally Posted by fadeaway1289 View Post

^Oh wow those are some awesome pics!! Hope Bear??? (cute) It's beautiful there and your hotel looks pretty kick ass as well. The garden looks amazing and so does everything else! What an incredible experience you must be having. Those gifts you got were really cool as well. Love the painting and the elephant. Are you feeling any better?

My fever broke on Tuesday and I haven't vomited since then but I'm still having GI issues. I may have to stay in this weekend. Indian public bathrooms are not to be trifled with.

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#27 Old 09-09-2011, 07:39 AM
Veggie Regular
 
mollycakes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoBravo View Post

If anyone's interested, here are some pictures of my first few days in India.

There aren't a whole lot but I'm not here on vacation, so I only get to go out on the weekend afternoons.

It reminds me of Kuala Lumpur- awesome! The food looks great! I die.

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.
mollycakes is offline  
#28 Old 09-09-2011, 07:40 AM
Veggie Regular
 
mollycakes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoBravo View Post

Indian public bathrooms are not to be trifled with.


Oh so true. Do they only have hoses to clean your self with?
Do you have to pay for a toilet most places?
Totally challenging.

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.
mollycakes is offline  
#29 Old 09-09-2011, 08:25 AM
Veggie Regular
 
JoBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 889
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollycakes View Post

Oh so true. Do they only have hoses to clean your self with?
Do you have to pay for a toilet most places?
Totally challenging.

I've only used two public bathrooms. Once at the airport and once at the mall. Both had toilet paper but I wouldn't use it. They position the toilet paper so weird; it's either half in the trash can or sitting on the floor soaking wet.

My hotel has both the douchettes (hoses) and toilet paper. The douchettes are actually pretty handy once you learn to use them. They were especially so when I was sick with diarrhea.

There isn't enough love in the Universe....
JoBravo is offline  
#30 Old 09-09-2011, 10:20 AM
Veggie Regular
 
clarita osita's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,862
Glad you're having a good time! I've been there three times, and I loved it! But I went to a very different part of the country (small village on the southwest coast), where they don't speak Hindi and most of the people are Christian, so they're not vegetarian.
clarita osita is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off