I thought I am a vegetarian

When people ask me if I am a vegetarian, I simply say yes, because saying something like  ‘I don’t eat egg as in like an Omelette or boiled format and stuff, where I can see the eggs but wouldn’t mind if it was mixed in the food like pancakes, pastries, cakes etc’ is a little too much isn’t?. And also I don’t have problems with my food cooked in the same container used for cooking any food that contains meat. And that is important here in my place because some of them (inclusive of my distant family members) are very orthodox and would never go to any restaurant which serves non-veg food. So explaining someone of my choices of food is a little tricky and hence the option to go with ‘Vegetarian’. But I found myself having a very hard time during my last year’s Spain tour, because there, every place we went, I had to make sure to include the lines ‘sin tuna, sin huevo’ (no Tuna and no eggs) because even a vegetarian salad comes with both. And so I survived on stuff made of potatoes, pastries (yeah, it has eggs in an indirect way) , veg paella and salads. No wonder I lost 3-4 kgs by the end of the trip.

My food contains mostly of carbs, diary products etc and when I was recently diagnosed with fatty liver, a friend suggested that I try the low carb high fat diet. The word diet by itself is enough to put me off from trying it. But I was convinced enough to make sure that my daily intake has increased fat and protein and reduced carbs. And I wanted to start with eggs. My siblings are very fond of it and even though my mom doesn’t eat eggs, she did make sure to make them for my brother and my sister while growing up. I was the only one who avoided it, because it was rather too late for me to even start. So last month I decided that I have to try and start eating eggs and see how it goes, not actually shifting to become a non-vegetarian per se, but eggs would help especially in my travels sometimes. And since last week, I have officially started eating omelettes. Yay!!! and haven’t felt like puking 😀 and that is a big thing for me. I had to mentally prepare myself for almost 2-3 weeks convincing myself of all the varieties of dishes I could get in the restaurants we go for our dinner post workout. Till now, I had to go only with salads or sandwiches (and I ain’t a great fan of bread as such) but now suddenly I have a whole varieties of omelettes and other veg options even without the meat or fish included.

I don’t think I can stomach anything else, like chicken , fish, meat etc…(even though my friends think that it all starts with eggs 😉 ) and I think I might end up getting nightmares, even though I don’t mind others having them (all of my friends except 2 are hard core non-vegetarians and those two eat eggs anyways) Now, I am not sure what kind of vegetarian I am! Am I still a vegetarian at all?

Food Street

I wanted to go this place ‘Food Street‘ or ‘Thindi Bheedi’ (in Kannada) in Bangalore for quite some time (since my friend went and said it was good). So we had planned for a Saturday night outing there. I had told my other friends that I am there only for photographs, but couldn’t resist the hot chats or akki roti or bhajji and ended up committing the sin of gluttony. A few information about this place.

a) Only Vegetarian

b) You can try all kinds of Karnataka style food (variety of idly’s, dosa’s etc) along with chat’s, soda’s and even a couple of chinese stuff.

c) I wish they cordon off the area so as to not allow any vehicles in it. Not only it is unhealthy, it also is big headache for people to move around freely. Not to mention some of the irritating drivers stopping in the middle of the road and trying to eat. Some do pass through it just for the sake of it.

d) Better to have your own water even though they do keep only bottled water and you have a PureIt water filter solution there.

e) There is always something very nice about street food (just make sure you eat only the hot stuff , because if things go wrong you can blame no one else but yourself)

f) It is quite clean enough, but still can be made better.

Tour report – Spain

Since its going to be a while for my photos of my tour to come up and also the detailed posts in my travel blog about the trip, I wanted to write down the travel notes when they are fresh in my mind as I usually do. So here it goes.

Spain trip

Dates : 29-March-2014 to 13-April-2014

Total members in the trip : 4  (2 non vegetarian male and 2 vegetarian female, this description is important actually)

Places visited (in order of visit): Madrid,Toledo,Segovia, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Barcelona, Tossa De Mar

  • First time doing an international trip with friends and it was fun because it was planned by one person and we had a detailed itinerary of where we would go and what we would probably do (not that we adhered to every line of it, we did improvise on the spot 😉 )
  • The trip started off with heavy duty walking and stuff and it required more stamina and it slowed down at the end to a 2 day vacation on the beach (and it was just lovely) . I lost an inch and had to poke a hole in my belt to hold my pant and so I ain’t complaining. I think I should walk more to reduce weight. Simple and effective 🙂
  • First time in all of  my trips I really had a difficult time being a Vegetarian. At least I had company this time. Spain has to learn one thing for sure. Tuna is not a vegetable. In all the menu’s in every place, there will be sections like Carne (meat), Pescado (Fish) but when it comes to something vegetarian you have Huevo (Egg) and Atun (Tuna) in it , every goddamn place. Every time we remotely order anything that looked like a little vegetarian we have to accompany it with the line ‘sin huevo , sin atun’ (no egg, no tuna). Egg , I can understand. Tuna? Really ? Last time I checked, it was a fish. And Fish doesn’t get any place in a Vegetal Bocadillo (vegetable sandwich). Please make that change. If there is no such petition, I would like to create one. All I could eat there were the postres (pastries) and tortilla de espanol (spanish tortilla which included potato and egg – yes I had egg in that form) and vegetal paella (rice with vegetables) and combine that with the walking , no wonder I lost an inch.
  • Public transport was very good. We used the Metro to the maximum extent and even buses where we could. We had booked a car (and I was supposed to drive), but after seeing the public transport and the flexibility of it, we cancelled the car rental so as to save money and instead made use of Metro and Taxi. In fact in some places, since we were four in number, taxi proved to be cheaper. Metro is very good. Even the inter city trains are awesome. (And my friends were happy that they got rid of my driving)
  • Agreed that we roamed in the more touristy places, but still, we used to come late after dinner at around 11 – 11.30 and even then we could find quite a few people and shops open (except for in Tossa De Mar where they closed all shops except restaurants by 6 pm)  and we felt safe too.
  • Since we were 4 in number with 2 male and 2 female , everyone automatically assumed that we were two couples. That is a common misconception, so I can understand that. But one funny thing happened though. In Barcelona, in the hotel we stayed, as usual they gave us two rooms assuming we were a couple , even though we had booked it with 2 twin beds, and it was OK the first day because the room was already made and the beds were together. When the housekeeping found out that the women and men are grouped in each room, the bed in our (women’s) room was still attached, but the beds in the guy’s room was set apart so far from each other that we could fit in another bed in between 😉 We don’t know why someone did that, but we couldn’t help laughing at it.
  • We did face some difficult with speaking Spanish, and in fact I am the only one in the group who knows the least amount of Spanish, but we did manage it and as and when the time went by , it became better. We did still have issues when someone spoke very fast, but overall the people were happy that we tried (and ‘we’ doesn’t include me at all)
  • Expecting a cold weather, I had taken my very heavy jerkin and except for Madrid, that jerkin itself became a liability. Because not only it was heavy and added to my luggage of camera and lenses, I had to carry this too, it was totally of no use when I just needed a light one. And I had packed very less in order to reduce the travel luggage.
  • As usual my choice of shoes sucked and this one which I had got after my Wayanad Trip caused more trouble with my fractured leg (causing it to swell after the first two days) that I had to borrow a shoe from my friend and I sort of own it now.
  • Since I was the photographer of the group, I looked more like a tourist when the rest was happily walked around like they belonged there 😉 but since I got my photographs with me, I am more than happy with it.
  • I sort of got asked out on a date and I panicked – The only sad thing that happened in this trip, because I wasn’t sure how to react because it was the least expected thing in my life. I am not going into the details but wanted to let that out.
  • I was praying daily that I should not get sick or hurt through out the trip and I am back home safe. Especially in the Monteserrat where we had to walk to a view point, I was really scared because a) of heights b) of the steep climb and the walk down where my chances of getting hurt was high but thankfully I stopped after a point because I was sure after that point it will be too steep for me and I was right. I came back with out a scratch. Yay! for me 🙂 and Thanks for the God.
  • I lost count of the number of Cathedrals that we visited.
  • I exhausted my 32 GB, 16 GB, 4 GB cards and since I forgot to get my USB cable for the camera, I had to buy another 16 GB card and used up half of it too 🙂
  • I know and I can understand enough Spanish now than I was able to when I first landed in Spain. Another week, I would have been very comfortable to even talk.
  • Saw Indians only in Madrid , Barcelona and Seville. And that too not that many.
  • Lots of people playing music and performing statue in the squares (and I happen to love Squares because of the way it allows people to get together and relax in the evenings) in all the cities we visited.
  • I think I could go on and on and this itself would become an entry for the travel blog, so I am going to stop now and rest will dealt in detail in my travel blog.

I absolutely loved this trip and with the company I had , it was even more enjoyable. Thanks to my friends for making it a memorable one and Spain, I really really loved visiting you. Thank you for some wonderful memories.


Impartiality towards vegetarians

When we (friends) were taken for a Christmas Brunch treat to a very expensive restaurant by my friend little did I know I would have to survive only on the appetizers and salads. Here is a glimpse of the brunch menu (sort of a buffet)

kg-26How many vegetarian items do you see there ? If I did count correct that day it was 2. Yes just 2 out of the whole lot. Being the only vegetarian in the whole group, I was pitied that day by every one 😦 , but thank fully the whole salad and appetizer counter made up for the lack of other items. Among the items displayed down, almost 70% were veggies 🙂 Thank God for those salads and breads.

kg-21And that warm mulled wine also sort of gave me company for the whole meal. The best wine I have tasted till now. I never knew that warm wine with spices could taste that good.

kg-23I had so much of those salads and appetizers that I did not have enough space to try the lovely desserts (even in spite of me being a pure dessert person). The only dessert I tasted was the German Cake of some sort with strong chocolate favor which was too good to ignore.

At times being a vegetarian is a tough job. The choices are very limited and when all your friends are non vegetarians, it adds more peer pressure 😉

I couldn’t resist adding this quote 😉

“I did not become a vegetarian for my health, I did it for the health of the chickens.”
― Isaac Bashevis Singer

Including this post as part of JusJoJan too 🙂