Sunday, January 4, 2009

Flying Solo

We have survived our first 2 days in the apartment - athough day One was a little nerve-racking. Indumati, our house keeper/cook took the weekend off before she starts for us fulltime on Monday, Jan 5. We were essentially on our own.
We woke up to the realization that we had no utensils to cook with. The only thing on the breakfast menu was oatmeal, juice and toast (since that's all we had in the apartment to eat). I managed to use the propane cookstove... sort of like a camp stove really, to cook the oatmeal. But then, of course, after cooking the oatmeal I realized we had nothing to serve it with. We wound up scooping it into bowls with an old, orange plastic Sealtest icecream scoop we happened to toss into our few meager cooking supplies before we left Texas.
Meals here are more than just having the right ingredients and the right utensils. They are figuring out how to sterilize fresh food, how not to mix up purified and contaminated water. They also include things like remembering to wash the dust and grime off of newly purchased items; remembering not to set newly purchased items on the clean counter before washing the dust and grime off of them. (This is not an exaggeration - items purchased in nearly every store have a layer of dust on them. These items have not been on the shelf that long, it's just that India is a very dusty place. )
After breakfast we had to the face the disaster that was our apartment. About 7 partially emptied suitcases, and 10 more boxes to empty, sort and stow. We spent part of Saturday shopping to get the cooking utensils, dishes and cookware we needed to get the kitchen moving in the right directions. Much of what we needed we found at a place called "Big Bazaar." It is in the basement of one of the local malls here and I guess is sort of like a very dirty Wal-Mart. It has a huge collection of items: clothing, houseware, cookware and electronics and a grocery section. After 2 hours or so of this and lunch at KFC, we traveled home to ATS Village to sort our new "Big Bazaar" booty, face our boxes and luggage. We ended the the day knowing we had to figure out how to cook our next meal: dinner.


Heidi said...

Did you get a tawa? tawa

I made idli on Saturday. Did you get an idli maker?
idli plates

Kathy said...

Whoa, I'm trying to eat right now, not easy after that story. But it does make me appreciate my relative lack of dust, dirt, and grime. And it seems that would be enough to make a paranoid person, like super paranoid: what's up with all the remembering? But ya'll did what I'd do: KFC. Just keep on doing it, or what about that Pizza Hut?

Jennifer Zimmerman said...

So what did you have for dinner. Does the "dirty wal-mart" sell food?

Jennifer Zimmerman said...

You know that grandpa Karl loves KFC

HouseBoy said...

Of course, we have a tawa. No proper Indian kitchen can be without one!

We also have a pressure cooker which exploded yesterday when Indomati was making her first dinner. Rice and peas all over the kitchen! We just laughed, since it wasn't us!

Big Bazzaar does carry groceries - a very wide selection. I think it's more like a Woolworth's than a Walmart for those of you old enough to have experienced Woolworths.