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On fennel seeds, head wobbles and holes in the ground

As my last day in Hyderabad approaches (it’s actually here now, but I started writing this a few days ago!), India is coming alive for me and I can’t help but feel I want more time here. I suddenly want to try every food I haven’t tried yet, explore every corner I haven’t discovered yet (and there are many), walk around barefoot in the sun. Our time here, while short, has been rich and memorable. Some stray thoughts I wanted to share, if only to help my brain remember it all after I leave:

  1. Fennel seeds candied or otherwise, are delicious and heaven-sent after a big meal (and we’ve had many big meals here as the food is delicious and the spice makes bread or rice a staple of every meal). We’ve had a running joke since day 1 that we’ve all developed a serious addiction to fennel seeds, and if you were to see us as we devoured them, you would believe it too. On our first visit to the grocery story, Mandy very brilliantly bought a few boxes of the stuff, and from that day onwards, our coffee-table at the apartment always had a box of fennel seeds ready for us, and we each had spoonfuls of the stuff every day. At every restaurant we went to, without fail, as soon as the meal ended and the waiter brought a bowl of fennel seeds over we devoured he bowl handful after handful. Last night the restaurant we went to offered packets of fennel seeds, I tried to get a photo of Dr. Yadavalli and Dr. Hudspeth throwing back packets of fennel seeds out in the entrance of the building, but I was too busy getting my fix too.
  1. Two weeks into my stay here, I still can’t tell a yes, from a no. While the head wobble or bobble usually means yes here in India, it can also mean no, it can also mean all right, thank you, or any number of things in different contexts. Of course it doesn’t help that I don’t speak the language here, although it is helpful that many of the Indians we’ve interacted with are pretty fluent in English.
  1. I’ve finally mastered the Indian style bathroom, but my system relies heavily on my purse, which I restock with a fresh, stack of tissue paper every day, and my small bottle of hand sanitizer, without which I probably would be very unhappy. Here’s our list of favorite bathrooms in Hyderabad: Exotica > Marriott > Fusion 9 > > > > > see the door photo in Mandy’s post below (although that bathroom was nowhere near the worst we saw here). At this point, all I need in a bathroom is a dry floor.
This entry was posted in India.

One comment on “On fennel seeds, head wobbles and holes in the ground

  1. I will only note that we purchased a 1/2 kilo of quality saunf (fennel candy) at a temple store.

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