So I think I’ve finally recovered from jetlag enough to write about my two month vacation to Mumbai, Kerala, and Singapore. The long holiday was a refreshing break from the regular routine of school, work, church. Seeing family and friends was great but the international experience is truly one to savour. New people, new sights, new sounds, new tastes—it’s a loaded experience!

In Mumbai, amidst the honking of trucks, putt-putting of rickshaws, barking of stray dogs, and calls from the bhaji walla, I indulged in chaat—pani puri, dahi batata puri, sev puri, etc, mostly street food. Fruit varieties included pomegranates, chicoo, custard apples, small bananas, and plantains. Became more familiar with the beautiful Hindi language and also learned to imitate the Bombay accent from my cousins. Oh--and I discovered I was addicted to Pepsi. Oye Bubbly!

In Kerala, I met numerous relatives that I didn't know I had, got to see the rubber being tapped out of the trees at my great grandfather's home, and had a ton of fun at Veega Land (amusement park). Foodwise, the traditional thali was delicious—rice, vegetables, sambar, fish, chicken, beef, pickle, etc—all eaten with my eager fingers from a nostalgia-inducing banana leaf. The endless supply of mango and pineapple will be fondly remembered. I also practiced quite a bit of Malayalam, my mother-tongue. My Ammachi (grandma) was pleased.

The two days that we spent in Singapore, we were graciously taken care of by Pritam and Balbir. We sampled exceptionally mouth-watering, and healthy, street food. The nasi lemak was a tasteful experience, and the dragon fruit will not be forgotten. The use of “Lah” at the end of every sentence, along with the staccato type Singaporean accent was interesting. Shopping in Singapore was great! The numerous varieties of green tea will be missed.

All in all, I had a blast! Good food. Good times. Good people.

Living the good life,

Beni

P.S. Just in case you're wondering, I would love to work for the Food Network or Travel Channel.