INDIA: Blame it on the…humidity.

It’s gotta be the humidity, that’s the most reasonable common denominator to all the bizarre side effects of life that have been plaguing me since my arrival to Bombay. It cannot possibly be the water since I’ve been drinking/brushing my teeth/practically bathing in nothing but the purest, cleanest, and most visually appealing bottled Prabal Gurung of waters, Himalayan (sourced from…you guessed it, the Himalayas). Alors, my personal conclusions about the impact of humidity-

Side effects of humidity:

1. Sleeping in. I am notorious for waking up hours before the earliest riser no matter what time my head initially hits the pillow. At home/in Finland/anywhere else, 8am is sleeping in for me. Here, I might go to bed anytime from 11pm to 4am and will no doubt blink my eyes to 11:31 am emblazoned on my Blackberry. How? EVEN NAZ sometimes wakes up before me. It’s gotta be the humidity.

2. Vivid dreams. Really ridiculously vivid dreams. Every night and about everything from driving across the Sellwood bridge as it breaks down and practically drowning then being rescued by a creepy businessman who takes me to a Finnish Costco where they sell mushrooms the size of American Christmas trees to dreams about getting my Chacos and backpack stolen and having to follow a mystery trail through a Bharat Petroleum station to uncover the thief. So. strange.

3. Well yes my hair is always quite voluminous and big no matter how long I spend straightening/blow-drying/grapefruit oil-seruming it. I think I have forgotten how I look with my hair tidy, straight, and in place.

4. A significantly lower lung capacity. I reallllllllllly need to get back into working out when I get home and not for vanity reasons- here, merely walking up the stairs is a gasp-worthy task which leaves my heart palpitating until I’ve been laying in bed in 16 degree celsius air conditioning for at least thirty minutes.

5. You will probably lose or maintain your weight…but not gain- even if you are eating twice your weight in butter chicken, chocolate-walnut fudge, and aloo bhaji. I’m surprised some scammer hasn’t written a book on the “India Diet.” On that note, India is not the place to stress about what you’re eating- it’s too delicious to shun any of the goodness so long as you take necessary health precautions: Avoid fried foods when out (it is a notorious fact that oil is often recycled…gross), avoid street food- especially Pani Puri or anything else with water/vegetables/fruit/anything cold or uncooked, be very discriminating with where you order a salad.

***

With that note, last night, Naz, Nirali, and I dined at Bombay’s top Thai restaurant, Thai Pavilion at the Taj President Hotel:

Inflatable hot towel to clean your hands pre-meal

Assortment of hot sauces

On plate from left: Raw mango & water chestnut salad, sea bass with tamarind sauce

Chicken satay: delicious

Dessert: water chestnuts in coconut milk (you can’t actually see them, they’re all nice and pink on the bottom of the bowl). Definitely a unique dessert.

***

Have you ever gotten quite ill while traveling abroad?

Do you like humid weather? Or despise it? 

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3 thoughts on “INDIA: Blame it on the…humidity.

  1. Food Poisoning in the Philippines after eating at some side of the road buffet deli thing somewhere near Santa Maria but up in the mountains. Should have known it was a bad idea but I was so hungry.

    Turns out 104 degree fevers, coupled with Philippine heat and humidity, no A/C and other excitement also make for a great diet.

  2. Urgh, hate humidity. I grew up in it, but now I don’t think I can stand humidity anymore. I went to Singapore last summer and thought I would die, I was so cranky and I had ZERO appetite.

  3. I haven’t been to India for a while but I know exactly what you are talking about when you discuss the India-diet. I get sick every.single.time. It’s terrible. But the food is fabulous! Please have a dosa or 5 for me!

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