So somehow I managed to finagle a two week trip ALL BY MYSELF to India last month. Â I’m not quite sure how it happened – but it had something to do with my darling husband and somehow all the stars aligned and before anyone could say “Mommy!” I had booked a ticket. Â It’s like therapy for my soul – I miss the food, I miss the people, I miss the country.
Now, I love NYC like nobody’s business but there are some things you just cannot get here:
- A proper dosa. Â (Sorry nyc peeps – it’s true)
- Fresh lime soda
- A Hanyuman temple in the middle of a busy street.
- Dancing south indian coffee
- fresh flower garlands for your hair every day (not that I put them in but nice to know i can!)
- a reasonable car and driver (because you would have to be mad yourself to drive there!)
- unrestricted pharmacies
- the food. Â omg, the food. Â it just does not compare
Luckily I got my fill of two weeks and am ready to hit the ground running for summer 2014!
Let’s talk about some of the delicacies I experienced over there.
Well, before we get to India I feel I need to mention Emirates Airlines and the sheer ridiculousness of their awesomeness. Â I got a ticket last minute and because we have a gajillion miles I upgraded myself on some of the legs. Â Well I did not know what I was in for.
This was the breakfast scene at the airport (my flight left at 11am so this was about 9:30am). Â I wasn’t even hungry but I couldn’t help myself.
What is it about the psychology of buffets? Â Can someone please explain this phenomenon? Â I never even eat breakfast but somehow was powerless against the draw of the buffet and had to throw down a breakfast. Â And VC for brekkie? Â I restrained myself. Â I still had a 14 hour flight to get through.
But get this!
Â This was ON THE PLANE! Â There was an actual bar and lounge. Â OMG. I thought to myself, “This plane doesn’t even have to leave the tarmac – this is enough!” Â A bed, George Clooney movies and champagne. It was already a vacation. Â Since it was now 10:30 Â I thought, why not?
And that was the start to the most blissful transatlantic flight I have taken and sadly, probably the last. Â Let me tell you I had a bit of a rude awakening when I had to fly economy on the next leg. Â I know, I know – cry me a river.
My first stop was Mumbai. Â I love Mumbai. Â It is a large bustling metropolis surrounded by water. Â Sound like a city you know and love already? Â You betcha! Â It’s the NYC of India.
This is me trying to cross the street at Crawford Market. Â While taking a video. Â Probably not the best idea.
Pretty hairy, huh? Â Well I did safely make it across. Â It’s funny how in all the chaos there is beauty and things actually work.
Crawford Market is one of Mumbai’s most famous markets. Â It was completed in 1869 and architecture is a blend of European styles. Â You want to buy a puppy? Â or a chicken? Â You want fake Croc’s or a sari bag? You want any kind of fruit or veggies you can think of? Â Quality Street candies? Â This is your place. Â Everything is here. Â Somewhere.
Â To fortify ourselves in the midst of all the shopping we stopped at a very famous falooda place – Badshah’s.
Never had a falooda? Â Well, you are in for a treat. Â If you can find one here (let me know if you do!). Â It’s basically a flavored syrup with vermicelli noodles, milk, chia seeds and ice cream. Â Whoa! Â I know it sounds like a lot going on but man – it’s delish! Â It’s basically a not-very-healthy smoothie-like drink you eat with a spoon! Â Well it does have chia seeds so maybe that negates some of the naughtiness. Â Eh, who cares?
Badshah’s has been doing this for over 100 years so they seem to know what they are doing. Â Check them out next time you are in Mumbai! Â Or visit Crawford Market and take home a mix!
We spent one glorious lunch at Trishna’s. Â I was so excited to eat there that I forgot to take any pics of the food! Â They are one of the best known sea food restaurants in India and some say the world. Â The inside looks like a drab conference room but people come here for the food, not the ambiance. Â We weren’t very hungry so we just had a simple lunch of Butter Pepper Garlic Crab and thin butter naan, but Oh momma. Â If ever I was on death row this would most certainly be my last supper. Â Just perfection. Â I didn’t want to eat dessert lest the flavors left my mouth. Â And you know me, when do I not eat dessert? Â Twice? Â It is that good.
Mumbai has lots of other great dining options – Sassy Spoon, Table, Leopold’s Cafe, Brittania, the Sea Lounge at the Taj Mahal Hotel. Â You need a good week to hit everything. Â Which we didn’t have. Â On the way to the airport though we made one last stop:
for the famous Mumbai sandwich! Â Somehow I have lived 40 something years and have never had one of these! Â We stopped at Hajiali which is next to a mosque in the sea behind it. Â It happened to be high tide so the walkway was covered in water and no one could get to the mosque! Â It was quite a sight to see. Â So we had to fight some serious crowds to get our Mumbai sandwich! Â But it was worth it!
This sandwich is not fooling around – triple decker, layered with grilled veggies, cheese, potatoes and chutney. Â A perfect send off to a perfect Mumbai visit!
See you soon Mumbai!
PART II Â Â Incredible India coming soon!!!!