5:30- Chris wakes up
6:00- Chris tries to wake Erika up
6:30- Erika actually gets up
6:45- LG won’t start (she doesn’t like the cold mornings). Takes 15 minutes every morning to pack her up and get her on the road
7:00- On the road watching the sunrise!
7:30- Roadside chai
12:00- Two curries, four chapati, two lassis, two chai, and a bottle of water
Today, we passed a traditional Indian village and were drawn in by the beautiful veggies on display. It would not get any stars for hygiene but the trick is: eat where the people are, eat where the locals are.
The road it’s on is filled with cows, poor children, dust, and garbage. We sit on discolored plastic chairs with a slab of wood rested on coca-cola crates for a table. The paint is peeling off the walls and the cement is filled with ditches. The roof is half cement, half corrugated iron and a monkey sticks his head through the gap in the middle in search of leftover food.
The air above the red brick tandoori shimmers from the intense heat creating a mirage effect. The floor is covered with broken clay pots and ghee stained newspapers that wrapped nans and chapatis. Overfilled bags of red onions, tomatoes, and cilantro scatter the prep table next to endless plastic water bottles filled with spices. Along the front are aluminum pots of all sizes filled with cauliflower, peppers, chilies, and other veggies.
Our waiter speaks very little English but makes up for it in the biggest toothless smile. Unlike most days of the week where we have the aforementioned menu, this was a “you-get-what-we-cook” menu. I needed a little extra Chunky Chat Masala Powder and everything was steaming and delicious.
13:30- Dodged a cow
14:00- Hit an unmarked speed bump
14:02- Dodged another cow
(Pass by fields of yellow flowers as far as the eye can see, children gathering things from branches high up, carcasses reminiscent from the cartoon Wile E. Coyote, poop patties and mud-poop huts, and all the animals.)
14:30: Dodged a truck driving down the wrong lane
16:00- Takes an hour to move three kilometers
17:00- Get to town
17:10- Find a street vendor. They want a selfie with us. I think it’s the ginger hair.