Indians going to phoren.

Indians and Danes travel in different ways. Danes travel more and with backpacks. Indians travel less and with fanny bags.

What’s with us Indians and our travel uniforms of white sneakers and fanny bags around the waist?  Before you accuse me of stereotyping, go to any airport and do some people and passport watching. My own father wears a travel uniform of business clothes – shirt, tie, trousers -with sneakers and fanny bag!! Oh the shame!! I understand why we might find it safe to keep our money close to our crotches, (no one wants to go near sweaty, humid, tropical crotches) but running shoes for flying? That part stumps me.

Ugly fashion choices apart, Indians travel with bigger hearts. A typical Indian tourist will buy up the entire souvenir shop just to be sure there is a present for  each one of his/her friends and extended family. A little something from ‘phoren’. Danes on the other hand, will send measly postcards from warm places, making you feel wretched about being stuck in cold Denmark.

Indian travellers will go further and act as your personal courier for gifts, messages and home-made food, if you have family and friends living  in their destination. There is always extra space in our suitcases. If I meet an Indian, even a relative stranger, I don’t hesitate to ask if they will carry some gifts back to India for me. Danes on the other hand, will agree if you are very lucky, but not before asking a dozen questions and unwrapping everything to make sure they are not being turned into drug smugglers.

This personal courier service helps us Indians in our motto of never sleeping in a hotel if we know someone in a city.  Why waste good money that can be used to buy kitschy souvenirs on a hotel room? It is mutual, Indians love having house-guests.  This unique Indian sense of hospitality and ‘apnaapan’ means, whenever I am in India, I sleep on the couch or floor of a friend’s house, because they get REALLY UPSET if I choose a more comfortable location and way to sleep.

My friends N & B were in Copenhagen for a few hours to catch a plane but not before they insisted I send them a long list things I would like from India. In spite of illness in the family, snowpocalypse and cancelled flights they found time to  meet me and give me my loot.

I can see Indian’s giving the picture a WTF look. Hello! Old Monk is the BEST rum ever and Ponds cold cream rules. When Natasha went to buy the creams, the shopkeeper tried to hard sell her newer, more modern zamane ka creams. Ha! Ha! She got me enough poppy seeds to start an opium business and enough heeng/ asafoetida powder to make me “fart for eternity”, her words not mine. Come summer, I will plant the coriander and fenugreek seeds for an endless supply of fresh dhania and methi! Up next, tandoori chicken tikkas with Old Monk rum.

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15 Responses to Indians going to phoren.

  1. Manny says:

    “asafoetida powder to make me “fart for eternity””

    I thought asafoetida was a cure for flatulence! Dhal gives you gas. So we put asafoetida to counter the gas. Capish ?


    You know.. I bought some coriander seeds from the desi store here in Texas and tried indoor home garden for cilantro. But none of them germinated. Apparently the USDA zaps any imported seeds that is not specific for farm, with radiation. I got not one sprout. I would be curious to know if the one got from India germinates (I would think it would). Next time, I’ll get some from India for just this purpose.


    • June says:

      I have no idea, thats what she said. I have never used heeng before! But so many Indian recipes call for it, so I asked her to get me some. And yes, I have grown corianer before. So getting the seeds from Indian might be a good idea. They smell and taste better too.

  2. narad says:

    The sneaker thing is a relic from past ( when Indians were not so rich, not that we are billionaires now but still ) sneakers those days would fulfill both school uniform on the PT days and also for travelling ( which some 20 years back meant to travel to relatives ) And its comfortable. Fashion sense is only slowly sinking in.
    I still remember when buying shoes for me , my mother and father would discuss “this one will last, stuffs from Bata(those naughty boy shoes) can be trusted to last long .ya da yada) . I don’t think I ever heard them say “that one looks good and this one’s fugly) . So those days there would be one black shoe for school uniform and another sneaker which would fulfill all other roles: sports shoe, casual shoe, shoe cos its too cold for slippers, travel shoe ! old habits die hard :)
    Add to that I think travelling is catching on only recently. Vacations would always be visiting fathers native village or the mothers. Guess will take our while to be somewhat mainstream.

    and old monk is THE best rum ! You missing ‘thums up’ though ! coke is compromise !

  3. Perakath says:

    I did so go ‘wtf’ at the picture.

  4. Priyanka says:

    wow old monk !!!! i agree, its the best rum, though it does give me a hangover if i ahve too much .
    don’t you get all this stuff in denmark? we have a few indian grocery stores here where i can go and buy my favorite parachute nariyal tel and hajmola candies.

  5. mk says:

    HAhaahaaa….my Dad has that travel uniform aswell ! and he insists we ‘learn’ how to travel safe like him!

  6. NS says:

    fart for eternity
    Ahh the “luxury” of living in USA, apart from Old Monk and Pond’s everything is available in my tiny ass Indian store in what I deem pretty much redneck county, county not country! Boy sometimes Im really glad that I dont hv to hunt for such little but important items :)
    Hv fun June and we look forward to chicken tikkas! A blog post without tikka pics would be deemed incomplete ;)

  7. NS says:

    And oh yes, even though I travel frequently, I wear sneakers and jeans in the flight, I find sneakers pretty comfy over leather ones! And ugh I still remember my mom trying to push me to wear that ugly crotch bag when I was leaving India for the first time. Needless to say, once inside the airport it never saw the outside world :)

  8. Mrinalini says:

    hahahahaha! this is too cool, i like the way you observe :)
    and yes, i have a travel uniform too, and i wasnt even taught this :P but ine has got to do with just being OCD about public places :P
    Old Monk is undoubtedly the best rum ever. it has given us many fond memories ;)

  9. Phani says:

    Seriously… Old monk!!! Dude…I can’t sleep tonight … Not because of the stupid snoring cold wind.. But by the thoughts of McDowell Old Monk Rum…brings back the memory of smuggling it over IIT gates and sharing it with friends and drinking with 20 ml of pepsi/coke and 80 ml of tap water .. Good ol days :-)
    Really tired of stupid Captain Morgan here… Not that it is bad.. But no where near as good as “apna desi maal”….
    June, party kab hi ?? Chakna leke pahunch jaavunga ;-)

    Is there a place in Kbh, where we can find desi daaru ? I haven’t found any in 4 years…

  10. ankita says:

    wow..your blog is awesome as i have to say!!
    its like i’m getting ALOT of answers when i’m reading them!!
    thanks for such great help.. :)
    you rock and please keep writing…
    tell me if you need something ha ha ha…i’ll be there soon..

  11. Floyd Stall says:

    Fenugreek has been used either short-term to boost milk supply or long-term to augment supply and/or pumping yields. There are no studies indicating problems with long-term usage. Per Kathleen Huggins “Most mothers have found that the herb can be discontinued once milk production is stimulated to an appropriate level. Adequate production is usually maintained as long as sufficient breast stimulation and emptying continues” .’;-

    Check out all of the freshest short article on our webpage

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