Saturday, January 14, 2012

Spiciness and Bungalows

We all know that people have different degrees of spice tolerance.

For us, before going on this trip… our spice tolerance was nearly nil.

But in China, being accidentally forced to eat spicy food, we got somewhat used to it. We also got some spicy food in Nepal (of course, it wasn't spicy at all for the locals).

But that is nothing compared to India.

"No spices, please." We said to the waiter at the restaurant we ate at today.

"Okay, okay." He says, smiling, "No spices."

When Mom's prawns came, and she took a bite, her mouth went all funny and she said, "this is spicy!"

Dad grinned and said, "Mine isn't spicy at all." (It was the spiciest thing he'd ever tasted, he says, but Dad has a weird sense of humor.)

When one of the restaurant workers came over to ask how the food was, Dad said, "Great, thank you."

"Not spicy?"

"No," says Dad.

"Mine is spicy." Mom says.

The waiter stares at her in disbelief. "No, it's not spicy." He says,

"It is for me." Mom explains.

"Not spicy at all! It only has two chili peppers!"

While at the beach today, we were burying Ileana in the sand so we could give her a mermaid tail. A very pretty Frenchwoman in a green punjabi and a young Indian woman in a bright pink punjabi came up to us and exclaimed about the mermaid tail.

Then the Frenchwoman introduced herself as Marjorie Monroe pulled out a red card. "If you are 'ungry," she says, "we 'ave a restaurant, we just opened, and—"

She began giving us directions, but I was trying to figure out what the restaurant's logo was and heard nothing but "then take a left at the temple. But the rickshaw drivers will know where to go."

When Mom and Dad came back, we showed them the card, told them the pretty Frenchwoman was from Paris (because that settles all), and promptly started walking. We walked for at least half an hour, though it felt like much more, on nothing but biscuits. We hadn't eaten breakfast because we'd wanted to see the Chinese fishing boats.

Everyone knew where it was, but we walked right past Les 3 Elephants, until the young Indian woman stepped out and said "Hello!"


We came in, saw Maya, Marjorie's angelic two year old daughter, met Thibaut, her business partner, and caught glimpses of Benjamin, her husband. (They are the three elephants, and have lived here for 5 years. Simply getting the permission to buy the land took two years.)

But the place isn't just a restaurant— it's a sort of… resort. There are individual bungalows, all designed by them. They. Are. Beautiful.

We ate a delicious meal (my food was appropriately spicy enough)— the menu changes every day according to the market availabilities.

We wanted to stay there a night… but couldn't due to timing constraints.

It would have been lovely, though.

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