Travel And Food !!

When one travels abroad there is one aspect that one tends to either  underplay or overdo .And that is eating !!. I don’t want to preach , because everyones priorities are different , but my philosophy on eating while abroad is very clear .It is defined by the fact that I must not fall into the temptation of eating Indian food and I must not spend my precious money by eating at 5 Star Hotels !! .I can never understand when someone recommends me a Indian Restaurant in lets say Budapest or Salzburg !! For heavens sake – when I travel abroad , the last thing I want to do is eat Indian food- especially when one cant get better Indian food than in India.Besides , I eat Indian  for 330 days out of 365 anyways !!
The other thing I do is that I regulate my sugar ,salt , and fat intake .Europe, America ,South East Asia and the Middle East ( I haven’t been to Africa where I am off next ), is flooded by soft drinks and fat food – cheese pizzas , cheese burgers , ham , bacon , steaks ,sauasages , lemon tarts , pastries , croissants ( I love them !!), and so on .So its always wise to remember that when you have bottle of Coke and a croissant very casually – you are taking in close to 1200 calories !! Hence , I am very careful . I like Coke /Pepsi ( I always remember Raviji when I reach out for a Pepsi !!), more than fruit juice and I carry a bottle of it and keep having a swig from it from time to time .My target is to have a bottle in two days so on a average I am drinking 165 ml of it every day !!.I always have a can of beer in the evening ( light ), and sometimes with lunch as well when I feel drained.
I research a lot on the food specialities of a particular city .So I knew that Berlin is famous for its Cuurywurst and Poland is famous for its Pierogi and Golabki .I also research of eating places in and around my place of residence .In Warsaw there is a exotic food court called Hala Gwardii.Its a International Food Court – and one gets from Butter chicken to Irish or Brazillian steak !! If you want to just laze around with a burger and coffee ,do so at the Saint Lawrence Market in Toronto .If you love spicy prawns – then go to Nadukuttam or Mahesh in Karama in Dubai.You need to research what you like to eat and check out the prices.
The first port of call in any city I stay after I have checked in , is the nearest departmental store .Departmental stores in all cities of Europe are fantastically stocked .I pick up my bread ( whole grain bread – it’s a dream if I can get bread of that quality here .There are so many varieties to choose from .I never eat white bread when I am abroad .I also pick up sausages , bacon , tomatoes , a few onions , mushrooms ( always ), green and red capsicum ,brown rice , brown sugar , tetra pack milk ( low fat – 3.7 percent fat ), croissants , energy bars ( with nuts ), coke , a pack of 4 beer ( can you belive it , I picked up 4 cans of 500ml Carlsberg beer in Krackow for 10 Zloti ( 180 Indian ruppes , ) which makes a can 45 rupees each !! When Sangeeta did not believe it – I photographed a copy of the bill and sent it to her on Whattsap .!!.I also pick up eggs I cook breakfast on my own .I must admit my strength – and that is cooking – which includes chopping , and washing up the utensils .I carry my own Lipton DARJEELING GREEN LABEL , and carry my own small glass .I am a Green Label and tea addict for 35 years now .I cant drink tea from a cup .I have to have it from a small glass (Ikea glass – I have 30 of them and they should last me till I die .!!).
I eat lunch and dinner out since I am always on the move .Dinner will be near the apartment I live , because I don’t want to travel too far away .The food is fabulous in the restaurants ( remember I have researched them and read reviews ) .I loved eating chicken mushroom served in spicy paprika sauce in Berlin and I loved eating Pierogi and Golabki in Poland.I did not like smoked meat in Montreal or the apple strudel in Vienna .I love the salmon I get in Toronto where my son has a apartment – and I eat a big chunk of it every day ..In Toronto I love the Chinese food at the Urban Eatery in Eaton Centre and I liked the Thai food at Pai ( I hated waiting though).The best street food I had was at the Pub Street in Siem Reap in Cambodia .The best tarts I had were at Margrets in Macau ( super !!).The best Pizzas I had were in Bratislava – the thin crust ones and wood fired.I have had better pasta than what I had several times in Rome .

 I always eat salad which is such a wonderful dish to have . I had some exotic salads – vegetables with no fruit ,cheese , meat, or cream .Pure fresh vegetable salad tossed in lovely sauces mixed in olive oil !! For breakfast , I normally eat a fried egg , ham , mushrooms cooked in tomatoes and onions with full grain break .I sometimes apply a bit of butter on it !!.I treat salt as much as my enemy as sugar – I avoid it . I walk , walk , walk .I climb , climb , climb whenever there is a staircase – I avoid taking the elevator. I take hop on and hop off buses .I hop on and hop off .I avoid taxis .I prefer shuttles to and fro from airports or bus stands .I am good at travel time management .
I don’t eat during flights .I am entitled to eat and drink in Airport Lounges because of my Priority Pass , and I walk into them and have a bite sometimes .I only drink red wine ( a small bottle )and that too French or Italian .I don’t drink Spanish , Argentinian or Australian wine ( I am sure they might be better , but old habits die hard !!).I don’t mind Sula Indian wine .

 I have a check list when I travel -with41 items on it .It is stored in the “Notes” folder of my cell phones ( I carry 2 ).I count the number of credit and debit cards every now and then to check  that I haven’t lost them !

I reconcile my account every night .I prefer paying everything through Forex Card /Debit Card /Credit Card .. I carry very little hard cash with me .
I have never lost anything so far.I lost and found my Laptop at the Schipol Airport once !!
All said and done – travelling is a highly organized activity involving tickets , boarding passes , passports, changing flights ,apartment bookings , taxis , metro maps ,and bus schedules ,credit /debit /forex cards , clothes , battery chargers , sim cards , cell phones , computers !!!)J:, reading glasses , rayban googles !!, – so many things one can lose – but cant afford to !!. 
Its not easy – it is no longer a “phoren” trip to show off about !!
But worth it . I will always travel ,God willing and memory allowing !!


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