Diary of Hobbitt

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Laments of a Vegetarian !

Being a pure veggie can be quite challenging if one goes for a holiday beyond the frontiers of mera bharat mahaan as I discovered when we went to Singapore for a holiday !

The thrill of being in a foreign country was replaced with a longing to be back home, the very next day after we landed there ! During the entire stay breakfast was the only meal of the day I looked forward to, with the hotel providing a choice of veg (toast, porridge, fresh fruits , as well as juice,among other things ) as well as non-veg continental cuisine and the friendly neighbourhood restaurant Komala Vilas(bang opposite the hotel) providing nice , spicy South Indian breakfast if one felt like having a- taste- of- back home food. However, come lunchtime and dinnertime my heart (or rather my stomach!) used to sink, just wondering what kind of food we would be having . Not being familiar with the city,we were at a loss to locate place which would provide some kind of decent veg food (mainly for me as the remaining members of the family were not averse to eating non-veg) .

Returning to the hotel one night we asked the cab driver if there was a good veg restaurant nearby. Knowing we were Indains he said he knew of a good place where one could get Indian food as well as food from other countries. He dropped us at a food court telling us to enjoy a good meal ! Being tired and hungry we quickly entered a huge hall where there were rows and rows of food stalls - some had ducks and chickens hanging on skewers , some had transparent water tanks with live lobsters , fish , squids , and even some kind of water snakes . Some even had dead snakes on their display rack ! In one of the food stalls a guy was actually frying scorpions while another guy was serving fried beetles onto a plate ,to a waiting customer ! That was too much to digest ! (ha ha ha !) The entire family beat a hasty retreat to the nearest exit- even my husband and daughter (who don't mind non-veg food once in while ) had disgust written large on their face ! As for me, being a strict ghaas poos (for the uninitiated , the term refers to veggies ) khaanewali I vomitted into the plastic bag that I had with me . Littering being a strict offence in Singapore, I had taken to carrying plastic bags with me to avoid any such situations where I would end up cleaning vomit everywhere we went ! We finally managed to get bread and butter at a nearby shop and thats what saved the day (or rather the night ! ). On another occasion we entered a restaurant which served pizzas and pastas,and ordered pizzas with mushrooms , tomatoes and cheese. The pizzas arrived promptly with the waiter smiling broadly .Marvelling on good service and impressed with their"Service with a Smile " policy , we got ready to tuck in when my eyes ( by now I had become absolutely paranoid where food was concerned) spotted some suspicious looking toppings .On enquiring we were told that they were pieces of ham ! We had to impress upon the waiter that we wanted only veg and strictly ONLY VEG and no meat whatsoever ! The guy was totally bewildered for according to them when a customer asks for veg it means vegetables in addition to meat and not only veg, minus the meat ! He must written off the entire Indian population as being rather weird in food habits !

With such lessons learned now I will have to think twice before heading to forein destinations and as far as travel to other Asian and Oriental countries is concerned , either I'll have to become a non-veg or drop the idea of ever going there ! I prefer to choose the latter anyday !

PS- On returning from Singapore I discovered I had shed 3 kilos !


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