indian

Meet the Patels: A Movie Review

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I’m gonna be honest with you. I’m at that stage in my life where every-time, literally every time I have a phone conversation with my mother, she ends it with inshallah (God willing) you’ll soon find a good husband. But that’s Iranian culture. A culture where marriage is just that big and that important. Where parents won’t really sleep until their children marry and procreate.

Meet the Patels is a rom-com documentary on exactly this. The film co-directed by siblings Ravi Patel and Geeta Patel explores the raw and honest expectations of Ravi’s parents (and extended family) surrounding his quest for love and marriage.

And, it is possibly the greatest film EVER.

And not because I can relate to the story. Even though I can (big time) but because some of the absurdities that come out of Patels parents are identical to the shizz my parents would, and do, say. However; amongst the ridiculousness are also a rich array of lessons on love and family to be learnt and cherished.

Ridiculousness include conversations like this where Ravi’s poppa describes the first time he met his wife through the Indian arranged marriage system:

“I go upstairs she’s sitting in a chair, stool or something
probably a little intimidated because this guy is from America…(his wife interrupts: “right away, I’m like, he’s short and he’s a little chubby.”) I was the one who asked the questions and she never asked me any questions which was a big set-up because she never opened her mouth there but she never shut up after the marriage.”

To adorable truths from the same man like the following:

“Bottom line is Ravi, i still believe when you are ready.. you will find a girl. just like a guru… when you are ready for a guru, you’ll never look for a guru, guru will come to you.” 

And…

“The girl you get married, you will never know her enough. Never know enough. Even after 35 year of marriage (his wife interrupting: he still doesn’t know me) it’s still a discovery. So you think I want to know her enough. That’s impossible, that is why you get married and that’s the fun of getting married because you keep discovering…you know, after 35 years we tell each other, “Oh, you don’t understand me!” Now after 35 years, I don’t understand her and you gonna know somebody in two year?!” 

All in all, a sweet and hilarious little movie with Ravi’s parents being the true stars of the film; old-fashioned yet charming and good-humoured – just like my own parents.

6/5 (a first on Iaccidentlyatethewholething)

What I Think of the Japanese School Lunch System

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Personally, I don’t agree with the Japanese school lunch system because I think it’s unhealthy and processed. For example, nothing raw ever features on it. This is, I was told by one of the teachers because someone once got sick from fresh cucumber. Which is why everything is pickled, fried and lathered in perservativey sauces. Also, last week they ate whale and that really fucked me off.

Alas, like all things, there are two sides to the system. One of the good things about school-lunch is that everyone starts eating together. Which is a really sweet sight, to see ravenous kids politely waiting to commence demolition with their pals.

The other positive about school lunch is their attempt at internationalizing the dishes. I say attempt because some of the things that show up are plain ridiculous. “hot dogs”, “hamburgers” and “gratin” which are nothing like you’d expect. Today, school lunch was “Indian” curry served with naan bread which brought so much excitement to everyone’s faces that two teachers even took photos of it (yeah yeah, I know, it’s Asia, everyone photographs their meals but no, not school lunch guys, that’s one thing that’s not worth the click. Sorry lunch chefs :/). So yeah, I think that aspect of school lunch is a positive, especially for these inaka (countryside) kids. Cos God forbid they turn out like my Kiwi high-school math teacher and try Chinese food for the first time at 55!

If you are blessed enough to have an abundance of food choices, you should totes venture out. Food is culture, guys!

Image stolen from HERE. Hope you don’t mind, Miss.

Bengali in Okayama

If you’re the type that gets offended easily, then I recommend you walk away now.

I’m about to offend some people (If you didn’t get that already).

Here goes…

The only two “spices” used in Japanese food are SUGAR and SALT.

Let the hate-mail start!

But seriously. Japanese food seriously lacks spice and my middle-eastern tongue NEEDS cardamom, cumin, turmeric, coriander and most of all it yearns YEARNS for hot-hot-heat (the band and the chilli). This is where Milenga (Bengali cuisine) comes to the rescue, wearing a cute apron and carrying a colourful and flavor-packed thali. To which I say, Hallelujah, the spice Gods have come! (To Okayama).
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review no28 sivam indian restaurant

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After the novelty of authentic Japanese food wears off (and it will), it’s beyond gratifying to chow down on anything that isn’t flavored by the sea, fried or rice. However; the rice at newly opened Sivam Indian restaurant in Yunogo is an exception because it comes with authentic Indian curry (cooked by Indian chefs) and ginormous as-big-as-your-torso naan. In addition; they have vegetarian options which are scarce in Japan. Pictured above is a set lunch option of vege curry and naan for a mere 750 yen (about $8NZD)! Sivam also sells adorable pottery, chopstick stands (in the form of edamame, broad bean, mushroom and chilli-pepper), house-made carrot dressing, chilli powder and mukhwas, a colourful indian after dinner snack or digestive aid. Definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Yunogo. In fact, Yunogo is becoming one of my fave hangouts!