Two New Yorkers spend six months 18 months!?! in Bangalore and other places in India.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Typical Day

Usually we get up around 7:30 or so. If we're lucky, one of us remembers to throw the switch on the "geyser," a hot water tank that's mounted on the bathroom wall. It takes about 20 minutes for the electricity to warm up the water.

The shower is freaky -- it's just a shower head, shower curtain, faucets, and a drain in the floor. When properly operated, it gets the whole bathroom floor wet. And if the drain gets clogged with towel lint or hair, you can flood the bedroom too. That's kind of exciting, but we only did that once.

Showers done and bathroom floor wetted, we get dressed and head out to the local Barista, which is just down the block. This is part of a newish chain of coffee shops that are in the Starbucks model. I can take or leave Starbucks back in the states, but I'm really into Barista, the people that work there and its Texan Potato sandwiches (spicy fried potato slices inside toasted bread) and Mr. Fudgee brownies. The chicken tikka sandwich is also a winner (this was off the menu for a while because of bird flu fears, but it's back). And as Don points out, the fact that we don't have to cross any of the very busy Bangalore streets to get our coffee is also a big point in its favor.

When I get home, I usually throw a load of laundry in our Whirlpool Whitemagic washer with Agitronic Soak. You can only do small loads, and they take about 75 minutes to get done, so it's good to get one going when you think of it. (Besides, you never know when a power cut might take the washer out of commission for an hour or two.) The washer is cold-water only, but the hokey "agitronicness" (basically soaking and agitating over and over for half an hour) really gets our whites white! When a load's finally finished, it's time to put the laundry on a drying rack. No dryer -- they're very rare here.

first-time cookbookWhile I'm doing that, I'm usually getting some posts done for the travel blog Jaunted. That takes however long it takes, but I'm usually done by early afternoon. Then it's time for running errands, writing, bumming around, watching weird Indian TV, coming up with article pitches, etc.
Around then I usually also crack open the First-Time Cookbook. Unlike most of the other cookbooks I've tried to use here, it takes the time to name and investigate, say, the many many different kinds of lentils and beans that can be turned into dal. It was written for India's yuppies, who presumably have little time and don't know about cooking Indian, just eating it (I might have gotten that last phrase from the cover copy . . . ). Anyway, the book's very clear and good -- I'll put up a couple recipes later.

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