Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Of travelouges and apparent threats...

Okay, fine, my last post was every bit as vague and meaningless as the stuff I spoke about here, and I do agree that blogposts which have 5 words and one picture-that-doesn't-even-fit-in, rank right between Delhi-Autowalas and Satan in the list of all time evils, so yeah, I DO come across as quite a hypocrite with my last tweet-looking post, but it's just so tempting to throw around a random picture and a random caption and try to cover up your guilt for not being regular!

Anyway, my internship in Hong Kong is coming to a close, and in 4 days I should be back in my hostel room coming to terms yet again with the sheer lack of civilization around me, all while going through the dozen or so books on 'Distributed Computing' which my mentor has been kind enough to 'gift' (Somehow the word means less and less as you grow up :(, ) me.

I didn't do great on the updates from a foreign land bit even though I sat down a couple of times and tried to come up with one of those usual "had nice time and I met some really nice people" kind of travel memoirs, I just couldn't pull it off, partially because I'm not really great at understanding and appreciating cultures/people/cuisine/trafic-rules/table-manners etc that deviate from my usual palate. I know everyone feels uncomfortable with a change of surroundings, and I know it's not like everyone is an Ian Wright (Read: the guy you saw eating raw goat-testicles, yak-tongues etc as he 'traveled' all over those Himalayan villages, on the Discovery Channel about 10 years ago) incarnate, but I bet they wouldn't fall asleep listening to music during a city-tour (Yes, THAT happened.) Luckily though I did manage to summarize the interesting parts of the past 2 months with:

1. Chowmein is NOT a Chinese dish, you do NOT get it in most of Asia, but you do get ludicrous stares if you ask people for it's availability. (Ditto with any 'Chinese' thing you might have eaten on Delhi streets.)

2. If you have ever seen any of those 'traditionally Asian' dishes on Travel and Living and expected to like any of them, then you're WRONG, they ALL taste the same (Take [insert meat] boil for [insert time].)

3. That snooty friend of yours who's probably told you about how chopsticks are easy to use and how they are, in fact more convenient than western cutlery, has played a cruel joke on you indeed. Ask him/her to try eating rice and tofu with them.

Yeah, 2 months in 3 sentences, ALL revolving around food. So I guess when I said I'm not great at understanding and appreciating new places, I meant it. :)

Me.

PS. When I woke up today I found this note pasted to the door of my apartment.....




.... so I leave now as I rush to get it translated from someone, as it's kind of unsettling to see so many exclamation marks, which I'm sure prettymuch mean the same thing in every language!

18 comments:

Tangerine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
★Stolen Halo said...

Please tell me the translation was something cool and not a 'blah! blah! hope to see you again!' /

Rahul Bhatnagar said...

@Kshipra: Technically Hong Kong is NOT Mainland China, it's like a one city country with it's own government and flag and stuff, like Singapore and It does have some of the best restaurants in the world, it's just that I can't afford to fine-dine regularly on my measly stipend :(. Ooh and surprisingly you CAN get 'Singapore Noodles' here, though I'm quite sure you wont be able to find them in Singapore. :)

@Vamika: You're in luck, it translates into some kind of warning about being forcibly evicted. Though it WAS meant for my roommate, apparently she's not been up-to-date with her rent payments.

Oh and btw, what's it with NONE of you using a real name?

Missy said...

I was in China recently and it's quite a place for a food adventure! Maybe HK is a wrong place to look for a "Chinese" experience.

You are right about the chowmein though. The chopsticks suck.

*orange plum* said...

You have a SHE roommate? And all you blog about are the lies that have been sold to us viz a viz food? Sigh.

Gooo Pseudo Namessss!!! :D

Rahul Bhatnagar said...

@Ankita: Well, I guess you're right, people from the Mainland told me about how you don't get good Chinese fast food here, I just went for a Korean lunch with one of them today, but ran from my table when I realized that he ordered dog meat for me, THAT was my "Korean" experience!

@Priyam: I am sorry(?) if I coudn't blog about important things like sex-faces. I do have a SHE roommate, and apparently I'm the ONLY one using a non pseudo name here. Aarghh!

★Stolen Halo said...

Argh! It's the anonymity quotient and I Like it that way. -_-

And now a Facebook-Like for "orange plum"'s comment. haha:P

Meher said...

As much as I love other people's culture, you're like bang on, with the points there. The "Chinese food" we eat off the streets, is all indo, yeah. But somehow I love it more. The actual chineese food is so blah!
And I still cannot eat with chopsticks, so yeah, you're cool!

Shruti said...

I love the Indianised Chinese food.

And I too dont like travel memoirs. Didnt watch Ian Wright. I thought he was exaggerating all the time!

But. Hong Kong is good for shopping, or so I have heard.

Hope you had a good time there, trying to eat with chopsticks. (I hate all these accessories while eating)

:-)

Rahul Bhatnagar said...

@Vamika: Yaar, her comment is more condescending than I can ever be!

@Meher: I do respect other cultures, I just don't adapt to them :). And, I CAN use chopsticks too (I DID have to put in some effort though,) but they're just so meaningless when you have a fork and spoon!

@Shruti: Finally someone remembers Ian Wright! I thought I was the only one who noticed him. Btw, it scarred me forever when I saw him ear a raw yak eye gifted to him by someone in Tibet.

Tangerine said...

Its funny....
I had my real name, and fb page attatched, but then i thought maybe anonymity gives more freedom to write...but apparently thats not true....
also a pen name.....i found that maybe i could describe myself a bit better too, maybe.
Also i think its a brief period,i was smitten by a song.
i thought it might look a bit mysterious, too.
But it kinda feels funny. I forget, my pen name is Tangerine :P

Pree-yea.... said...

I doubt the chopsticks thing, maybe the rice weren't sticky enough :P
Don't know about tofu. But the travel part, you really don't like travelling ? :O

Zeba said...

Ha. I am terribly curious about the translation. You can't copy paste it on Google translate either. Pity. Just recently I had dad tell my the history of Hong Kong. Quite interesting to be LEASED to another country. Sigh.

I am getting over my semester in Germany myself. Not quite looking forward to going back yet.

Rahul Bhatnagar said...

@Kshipra: Admittedly,I've contemplated over the benefits of being anonymous on a few occasions but it just seems hypocritical how people can bare their souls on blogs and not their names! Needless to say, I'm not changing my name to 'Tango-charlie' or something anytime soon.:)

@Pree-yea: I don't REALLY hate traveling, but somehow I prefer staying at home and sleeping for 12 hours to taking guided tours and clicking pictures in front of buildings. :)

@Zeba:I think the note was an eviction notice for my roommate :). And it IS odd how you're looking forward to going back home though, with me it was the other way around. :)

Zeba said...

I said I am NOT looking forward to going back home. And I swear on my last flavored yogurt that this is the truth. :-)

bluebutterbeer said...

You're right about chopsticks. They are tough to manage, which makes me all the more proud that I *can* eat rice using them. :D

imperfect said...

I miss you!

Rahul Bhatnagar said...

@Zeba: I know I'm like half a year late on this, but sorry, my bad. :)


@bluebutterbeer: So can I, but every single time I touch them, it reminds me of the smirks my Chinese friends would exchange over how hard I was trying! So yeah, it's NOT a great experience.

@Shivani: Here's some advice, next time someone from Assam messages you TRY REMEMBERING WHO IT CAN BE!