For me, food represents home and comfort. No matter which city I go to, it’s always a necessity to find the kind of food that gives me that similar sense of relief to keep me grounded and at home.
Coming to India for the first time makes me feel a lot more paranoid and uneasy when it comes to food. I’ve heard about travelers and locals getting the so-called “Delhi Belly,” and it’s the reason why I’ve been so cautious about what I eat.
In Rishikesh, my options are much tamer. I would go with the usual Thali (lunch tray) if I can't make up my mind, pizza for a happy day, or go for a Veg or Mushroom Chowmein for comfort (since it tastes like the equivalent of Mie Goreng back home). And oh, I’ll always have to have my Masala chai and my honey toast in the morning. So far it’s been great! My belly has been happy with my choices for the past 2,5 weeks.
But Varanasi is a city with a vastly different experience. Standing at 36 degree Celsius, the small alleyways in Varanasi is swarmed with flies hovering over trashes or what remains of the red paan spits. The wind blows stronger here, circulating the dust and sand of the dried cow dung and human remains from the cremation ghats.
But these alleyways are where the gems at. A lot of the recommended cafes and restaurants are nestled inside the crowded alleys, which entrance is often jammed with the locals, motorcycle drivers, and holy cows. You'll have to be ready to squeeze your way in and sacrifice your new Nike shoes to satiate your taste buds. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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