One of my very favorite things about traveling is eating my way through new places. This presents a problem for my time in India, as I discovered in the Mumbai airport with a quick samosa snack that my spice tolerance is less than that of a Hyderbadi infant (good news – omeprazole is cheap here). Luckily I have been able to find an acceptable alternative that allows me to still enjoy the experience of new cuisine: drinks!
This revelation was actually able to assist with other problems as well. Such as the time I regrettably revealed to my program director within the first four hours of our three week trip that I have seen none of his favorite movies, therefore do not understand how any of the program staff best represent the various characters, and p.s. I am allergic to potentially your favorite fruit that is also quite abundant in India. This is when you need to quickly look for any other common ground to stand on, and therefore when he orders a fresh lime soda with salt, so do you. (Don’t we look like twins both enjoying this same beverage?)
A newly favorite drink of mine in the States is an extra dirty martini, during which if I am enjoying it I am basically drinking a cup of olive brine. So I thought I had a decent chance of liking fresh lime soda with salt, and I was right. It was actually quite delicious. It turns out fresh lime soda can be ordered three different ways, with salt, with sugar or with both – allowing me to really stretch out my short love affair with Southern Indian cuisine. At one of the fanciest Pizza Huts I have ever been to I tried the version with sugar, which was also delicious but a lot like fresh squeezed lemonade. Finally today, in conjunction with experiencing my first meal of biryani, I had the long awaited fresh lime soda with both salt and sugar.
As I still know next to nothing about Harry Potter (which is becoming a bigger issue in my life than I ever could have anticipated), I think I am going to have to resort to using lime soda as a means of sorting the people on our trip: the salty, the sweet and the mixed. Forced to pick one, I will have to go with the mixed. Gopal has clearly declared himself a member of the salty camp, and James appears to prefer the sweet. Starting tomorrow my goal will be to see who out of Jared, Jalpan and Bassima I can recruit to my side – as well as find something new in common with our infectious disease specialist program director after overestimating the worldwide HIV prevalence by a factor of twenty.