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First in the series of Hubby's travel tales ..
The chap, being the quintessential Tam-Brahm boy, had a terrible time living for a month in a country where snakes and eels are considered a delicacy. Having been brought up on a staple diet of Thayir sadam and cut mangoes, the prospect of ingesting creatures that normally give people a fright scared the living daylights out of the poor fellow. He was promptly packed away on the "phoren" trip with packets of savories , assorted powders and pickles ,so as to enable his survival in the land of exotic creatures for at least a few days, till the Gods decided to stage a miracle and feed him the choicest of south-Indian delicacies .Or so he hoped.
Of course, language is a problem in this lovely country .Nobody understands English and his too-grammatically-correct questions were met with strange stares.Our chap is flummoxed. He doesn't know what to do. But he knows that he has to eat to survive.
Our chap , is resourceful if not anything. Using the aid of Google translator and assorted hopeless hand-gestures , he somehow manages to convince a waiter to bring him a "vegetarian" noodle.
"No meat, no egg, no fish, no chicken," he tells the waiter.
The waiter nods his head vigorously,like he takes the same order every single day form gazillion guests and the chap feels like he is on cloud no9 , because he is sure that the waiter fellow has understood him. Half an hour later, the chap's stomach is rumbling and there is still no sign of the blessed "vegetarian" noodle.He is increasingly getting delirious and is hallucinating about thayir saadam.
A little later, he is jolted from his misery with a call from the waiter's cronies wanting to know..
"What what add in noodle?"
Now, the chap is preplexed. The waiter had nodded his head , like he understood everything. He had even smiled sweetly like he was the chap's best buddy.
The chap patiently tries to explain everything again in Eng-nese.The lady on the other side of the tele-phoon enthusaistically tells him " Ok ,Ok. Noooooo Problemmmmm..No meeeet, no chickeeeeen, no fisssss..ok, ok." after fifteen minutes of verbal-boxing.
The chap sighs with relief. Finally ,the blasted noodle was going to come.This is when he fervently misses the Missus's cooking. He realizes how much he's taken her cooking for granted.
Some more time passes... The chap doesn't know how long, because by now his small intestines are being gobbled up by the big intestines. He starts seeing more thayir-saadam mirages.
Finally.... there is a knock at the door. The friendly waiter makes an appearance ,smilingly bearing a bowl.
"Noodle.. no meeeeet, no fissssss..," he says.
Chap is in throes of ecstacy. Finally FOODDD..
"Thank you," he mumbles and attacks the bowl feverishly even before the waiter has left.
A few bites into it, he loves the food.The veggies are wonderful , full of flavour. Better than what he gets back home.Maybe he shouldn't have thought about the missus's food so nostalgically, he wonders. The world had so many yummy things on offer , anyway.
He is also delighted at his google-translator skills and wonders why people say bad things about the people of this country not understanding any English.
Another knock on the door.. Chap's collegue.
"Arrey..What are you eating,man?" the colleague asks
"Veggie Noodles... Yum! Have a bite "
The collegue accepts the proffered spoon of the vegetarian goodness.
"Yeah, it sure is yum. But.....you sure this is vegetarian? This bit here looks like pork," the colleague says.
The chap's face clouds.
Pork! .."Aiyoo...Ramaaa..Ramaaa..."he mutters to himself.
He looks back at the bowl that is now half-full and feels sick.
"But.. I said no meat, no egg, no chicken, no fish.Why did they add pork? "he asks wide-eyed, clutching his sacred thread to his chest in atonement .
The colleague smiles enigmatically.
"You missed out pork and beef , dude," the colleague says and guffaws.
The chap contemplates the contents of the bowl.
He pushes the bowl away and decides to eat the murukkus and other savories that he carried from home for dinner. He is suddenly reminded of his wife's under-rated cooking. He also decides to find an Indian restaurant before he cracks up.
More adventures.. COMING SOON!