Wednesday, March 30, 2016


This is an open letter to my Indian friends

Dear friends,

There is something you need to understand about me. That is this: when the temperature rises, my appetite and metabolism (i.e. digestive system) go on strike. They outright refuse to work at their contracted pace. Yes, they slog along slowly as they get acclimated to the heat, but by and large they just don't process foods like they do in the cooler temperatures. 

Now let us figure in a 25C (that converts to roughly 45F for those keeping track at home) degree temperature climb overnight (literally). Twenty five degrees, folks. Two. Five. Shoot dang! That appetite and metabolism didn't just go on strike; they flat out shut down the factory and went home. I feel fortunate that my appetite and metabolism are the only two systems that threw in the towel. 

So what does this mean for all of you, my Indian friends? Let me tell you. It means that when you set before me a plate of food enough to feed a hungry, fully-grown man who just finished an ultra-marathon don't be offended if I can't manage to eat it all. It means that on the rare occasion when I have managed to finish the food on my plate, please don't be offended if I refuse to take more. And for the love of it all, please don't put food on my plate because I didn't eat enough (according to your standards). 

Here's what it looks like from my perspective. I love the food you all serve here. There a very few items I wouldn't choose to eat more than once. Let’s be honest, if I had an aversion to the food here I would choose somewhere else to go on my vacations. Trust me on this one. 

This isn’t all that fun for me. I don't like saying "no" to your food offerings. I don't like it one bit. I know that within your culture the measure of hospitality is often calculated by the quantity of food your guest consumes. Yet your overwhelming generosity never fails to make me feel welcome. I know you feel bad when I don't eat your food because you fear that I do not like it. Yet nothing could be further from the truth... I truly miss your cooking when I am back home. I know that you measure the status of an individual’s well-being by whether or not they have eaten recently. Please believe me when I say I am very well in body, soul, mind and spirit.

I simply just can’t eat anymore.

When the food you provide is set before me, my mouth waters because I know how good it is. However the rest of my body starts screaming at me: "Uh, Uh, Uh!!! Oh no you don't, girlfriend! You put that food in your mouth and you are gonna be sorry! We are not processing that until a month from tomorrow and if you do it anyway... Well, make that two months from tomorrow!" 

My friends, I regrettably fear the meal times these days. You have all always been so gracious to me and so protective of what I do eat to ensure that I do not fall ill. However, is it not just the quality of food that I consume, but the quantity that may make me sick. Your display of hospitality is not lost on me for I appreciate it very much. However, we just need to come to an understanding here: I will eat all that I can, but don’t be disappointed if it isn’t all that much--- the systems are on strike.

Apologetically not eating as much as you want me to,

I will, however, unapologetically drink  tender coconut water until I turn into a water droplet myself! 

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