Wednesday, May 02, 2007

southern cuisine

went to an engagement party in hassan on saturday with a bunch of the office crew on saturday. threw in a few ancient temples while we were at it: Belur & Halebid

and i'm going to a wedding reception tonight for another co-worker.

as i said before--i am reliving my late 20s, only this time as an indian. people in their late 20s go to a lot of weddings.

lest you think i'm not a proper indian, i taught a woman at the engagement lunch how to properly eat a southern indian banana leaf meal. and this woman was an INDIAN no less--a fancy northerner, used to their fancy indian breads and utensils, who had just arrived in the south to start work at my company. and this was good down-home southern indian dining: eating off of a dirty banana leaf with the bare hand. she was horrified.

i taught her:
how to wash the leaf using her drinking water without soaking the table (a deceptively complex procedure)
to eat with her right hand only
how to stop the trio of topless waiters from ladling unwanted food onto her leaf as they passed (it is offensive not to eat everything on your leaf)
the 3 finger scoop-and-shovel leaf-to-mouth food delivery method
the post-meal hand-wash-over-leaf technique

she failed in almost all of the above. i made up other south indian traditions such as "wipe your dirty hand on shirt sleeve of the person to your left" (she sat to my left), to increase the overall horror. it was great fun. relatives of the groom were deeply confused and amused watching the foreigner teach the indian.

she's not in the office today. i hope she didn't quit from the shame of it all.

i will post some pictures semi-promptly