Sep 27, 2009

rant rant: food & travels

There's something funny I have noticed about Indians abroad (actually there's more than one thing but we'll just stick to this one for today!)

The Gold Coast attracts lots and lots and lots of Indian tourists every year and I've noticed that these tourists either go to the standard McDonalds/KFC or they just go to an Indian restaurant. Now, if I were on holiday in a different country, I would like to try a bit of the local fare. I am a bit more adventurous with food than many people but I know a lot of people aren't and that's fine. I am not saying that you should jump in and try mussels if you really don't like seafood but come on, KFC is KFC the world over so at least one day out of your 14 day holiday, wouldn't you like to try something that you've never had before?

Eating only Indian food abroad is a bit silly I think. I mean, if you've come to Australia you can actually get so many different kinds of food so why not try some of that? I mean, how about just a plain (non-Indianised) version of Chinese food even? Or how about some Italian without the Garam Masala? I know many Indians will not have a steak and to each their own, but how about even enjoying the Aussie barbecue experience and setting up a barbie on the beach or even at a park? Its not something we do in India.

Travelling to me is all about learning about the country you're visting and it's culture. Food is a very, very important part of a country's culture and in Australia's case, for lack of any authentic Australian cuisine, its just the multicultural nature of the cuisine available here.

Travelling is not just about visiting theme parks, shopping and doing the touristy things. If you're lucky enough to be able to travel, you should make the most of it by absorbing the uniqueness of each country and once again, the food is such an important part of this. Travelling is supposed to open up your mind and show you how others live in a different part of the world. If an Indian tourist told me they simply tried Vegemite (a shoe polish type looking spread which Aussies love!) I would applaud them for trying.

Why must these tourists play it so safe all the time and stick to Indian restaurants where they hope to treat the waitstaff like trash, just the way they do back in India? Maybe thats why. They like the familiarity...but then WHY go on holiday?

How do I know Indians love to eat only Indian food when they come here? Well, a close friend owns an Indian restaurant, another works at one and I worked at an Italian restaurant on a street that is packed with other restaurants and can count the number of Indians I served or spotted as there was no Indian restaurant in the vicinity.


Anonymous said...

Lol! I've noticed that too funnily enough. The first week I was in Aus I stayed with these distant relatives for a week and they took me to Maccas, fed me homecooked Indian food with rice every meal (I hadn't even eaten that much rice back home...and I'm south Indian!) and the one time we went was to the temple for food for a dollar and ordered dominoes once. Why I ask? Why? :P

I have loved my food experience in Aus...I'm a huge foodie and while I absolutely love our Indian food, it's been great trying Thai, Mexican, Aussie barbies, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Lebanese, Greek...the beauty of a multicultural society is that there's food from everywhere and I think we are lucky to experience that! This is now giving me an idea for a post! ;)

Anonymous said...

Ha ha rice! I relate to you Psych... I'm Bong and I don't fancy rice that much ;)

And I love my food experience too. Like you said, I looooove Indian food but I love all the other kinds of food I have had the chance to try as well. :)