Archive for the ‘Cuisine’ Category

I Smoked Shisha but Didn’t Inhale

After checking out of my Pune guest house today, I bought a Volvo bus ticket for tonight, bound for Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat. There I plan to make another pit stop before continuing my journey farther north to the state of Rajasthan.

With about six hours to kill, I figured I’d try and find a spot where I could sip tea, eat, and jump on my computer.

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Train Travel in India: Some Pros and Cons

Chhatrapati Shivaji Train Terminus in Mumbai

When I asked the man at booth number 52 about the prospects of a dining car onboard a long-day train, he answered:

Yes there’s a car with food.”

I quickly assumed: It’s a day train.  Why wouldn’t it have a dining car?  Great!  I love to eat while gazing out at the countryside.

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Devouring the Streets of Delhi

This man had the most popular stand I saw. He was churning out this crispy, yummy, fried form of bread.

For the first half of my stay in North India, I was very careful about what I ate.

I diligently made sure that food was cooked over a fire in front of me.  This ensured that any potentially harmful bacteria was destroyed before corrupting my bloodstream and intestines.

I carefully inspected stalls, trying to judge how long food had been sitting out.  I didn’t eat raw veggies or fruit that may have been hanging around.

I still haven’t eaten flesh food including fish or chicken.

I purposefully ate at stands and little restaurants that seemed to attract a lot of locals.

I was careful of juice made with bad ice; bad for a foreigner who hasn’t yet built up and may never build an immunity to bacteria on the subcontinent.

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How to get Veggies into your Diet in Central America

Getting veggies into your diet in Central America can be an elusive endeavor. But, like anything, with proper focus and motivation, it’s doable.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, we should get nine servings of veggies daily.   That’s a lofty goal for anyone at home or abroad.  Most of us, including myself, don’t often reach it.   I’d like to try to change that.

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A Health Food Fiend’s Dream

While staying at the $35 a night Hotel Latino in Panama City, I bonded through the need for Wifi with a Location Independent Professional and fellow guest.

The Wifi there pretty much sucked as the connection was slow and only worked in the lounge downstairs until 10:30 pm, not in the rooms.

Because good wifi is crucial to me, I thought: So much for the Hotel Latino, even if they have a roof deck swimming pool that I’ve been able to take advantage of.

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Succulent Ceviche in Panama City

In the last seven weeks I’ve had Ceviche on Managua’s Malecón, in San José’s traditional market, and for two straight days now in Panama City’s Mercado de Mariscos.

From inadvertently Ceviche-Hopping along half of Central America’s isthmus, I feel that I’m rapidly becoming a Ceviche connoisseur.

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A Few Days in Costa Rica’s Fruit-Friendly Capital

I’d heard a lot of pessimism about San José:

It’s just an overpriced big city. There’s no reason to go.”

The main reason I drifted to this city was to make some ground through Costa Rica, as San José’s centrally located as the country’s hub.

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Nicaraguan Cuisine

Maduros (Sweet Fried Plantains) and Gallo Pinto (Rice and Beans) are ubiquitous to this land and almost impossible to not eat daily.  

I may exaggerate a tad but I’m not gonna lie, nor will I be Pollyannaish about it. Generally, Nicaraguan cuisine has less gastrointestinal goodness than Iberian,  Mexican, Peruvian, or Venezuelan  fare.  This shouldn’t be surprising as Nicaragua lies at a great economic disadvantage to almost all of its Latin counterparts.  This country actually ranks as one of the top three poorest lands in the entire western hemisphere.  This means that a huge chunk of the population lives hand to mouth and needs to focus on sustenance as opposed to fancy food.

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Ruthless and Rowdy Rooster Fighting

A Typical Sunday Activity

I decided to set out on an organized rooster fighting tour led by a Dutchman who runs the hostel I’m staying in. He’s lived here for four years and knows more about Nicaraguan culture than any foreigner I’ve met.

I was the only one who showed up so it turned out that I would accompany him and his parents on a non organized visit.

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An Elixir Spawned in KL

As I ponder back upon some of the places I’ve travelled to and the knowledge that I’ve gained, I realize that one of the most eye-opening experiences from my yesteryear is the three-month backpacking journey that consisted of meandering through a chunk of SE Asia.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, aka KL, I fell slightly ill. It was only nausea due to a combination of heat exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Bear in mind that KL sits at a mere 3° above the equator, providing for a torrid tropical temperature. Also, my 20-bed ice-cold hostel suite didn’t allow me to get the solid sleep that I’d needed. Multiple people sleeping in open areas do not cater well to the light sleeper, nor does extreme chill caused by A/C overkill.

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