A Change of Pace

Hello from an uber that’s been travelling on the Outer Ring Road at the speed of a bullock cart for an hour!

I moved to Bangalore a few months ago, and I have quickly learned that unless I learn to make my commutes productive, huge chunks of my day will be lost to staring out the window while listening to this on repeat.

I’ve been plotting the move for a while now, and I finally worked up the courage to do it this January. There were a few difficult decisions to make including which cookbook to carry in my luggage, since I only had space for one, but it all worked out in the end.

Two weeks ago, I moved into a sweet little place that has pink walls and a pink loo. It also has a balcony where I plan to try my hand at growing herbs, which will reveal once and for all whether I’ve inherited my aunt Rafia’s green thumb or my mother’s brown one.

I have mixed feelings about living away from home – I never realized how much getting used to it would take. I think I hear noises ALL the time, and I can smell every meal the lady downstairs cooks. Judging solely from the aromas that waft into my room, I’d say that lunch is her strong suit.

But I do like the energy of the city. Coming from a town where stepping out of the car to tickle a calf and coax it off the middle of the road is not unheard of, to one where i feel like i'm going to get run over by a motorbike while walking ON THE PAVEMENT(!!!), to say that it has been a change of pace is an understatement.

So far my favourite things about Bangalore are:

a)    The fact that I’m never too far from a good cup of south Indian filter coffee. It also turns out that people in Bangalore not only like drinking filter coffee, they really really enjoy talking about it as well, and with the same passion that people in Kerala talk about politics. I’ve had several enlightening conversations so far and I might have to put away my aeropress for a bit and bust out that old steel tumbler.

b)   Hot chips!! A delightful, quintessentially Bangalore concept, hot chips are these shoe-box sized stores on every other street corner lined with glass shelves filled to the brim with chips of every kind imaginable. Its every snacker’s dream come true, and I won’t lie, the hot chips down the road was a huge deciding factor when I chose my place.

I’ll post more, as I get settled in, but for now, here’s a picture of my first friend in Bangalore, Anisha, with her cat, Cow. 

PS: The book I finally decided on was Nigella’s How to Eat. I think it’s safe to say that I need NO instruction on how to eat, but the title of the book is a bit misleading. What the book is really about is how to feed yourself – how to weave cooking into your daily life, and turn into something if not pleasurable, at the very least something that isn’t stress-inducing. I think it’s easy to enjoy cooking when it’s a choice, but the challenge is to not mind it, or even enjoy it when you have to do it every single day. I’ve never had to cook out of necessity before – it’s always been for pleasure or work but never for pure survival. Now that I’m living on my own, I do have to cook if I don’t want to be eating take-out for every meal. And I figure this is a good book to ease me into the habit of everyday cooking.