Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Get Lucky at a TexMex restaurant in India

It was about two decades ago, this time of the year, that we hosted the first of the few Swedish students.  She was a final year high school student, who was brave enough to experience the Bakersfield summer.  It was 110-degrees the afternoon that she landed, and when we brought her home, it turned out that the air conditioning system was dead!

She was a good sport, well-informed, and well-traveled.  When chatting with her, she talked about her interests in the kitchen, and I thought I might also plan the meals working in her preferences.  "What is your favorite that you like to make back home?" I asked her.

I was worried she might say "herring."  It was not herring and I was even more screwed.

"Tacos" she said.

Here was a teenage blonde from Sweden who loved making tacos back in her small town.  Twenty years ago!

It is a highly globalized culinary world in which we live.  Not my grandmothers' nothing-but-traditional food life.

I am always amazed and impressed with how much different foods have diffused throughout the world.  Yet, when the business thinker suggested that we go out to dinner, I didn't expect him to say "it's a TexMex place."

TexMex in India.  Go figure!

"It will be a good change from the Indian food you have been eating since you left Eugene" he added. True.  A good change.  But, really, TexMex in India?  Wow!

Given the city's nasty reputation for traffic, it was a smooth drive to Habanero.  We hadn't even entered the restaurant when I saw this:


O M G!
Live entertainment by a singer from Colombia!
In Bangalore.
In India!
The old country is not the old country I left behind, eh.

There she was singing with a Karaoke support, and occasionally tapping on the conga drums.  With a young crowd hooting and howling, and singing along sometimes.
A Colombian.
In Bangalore.

It was time to order.  I went with the vegetarian Mexican Taco Salad.

The Colombian kept singing.  There was not even one number that I didn't recognize, despite her best attempts to sing them all in a manner that made distinguishing one from the other quite a task.  A young crowd a couple of tables away continued with their hooting and howling.

The singer is the barely recognizable image in the dark in the middle

"She seems to be singing for you" joked my friend.

"If only she sang better" I replied.

"If she were better, then she won't be here" he said.

I suppose that is true about most of us in whatever we do.  If we were better, we might not be where we are.  Nor would we be where we are if we were any worse. To be happy in where we find ourselves is what most of the challenge in life seems to be about.

The food arrived.  It looked good.  Will it taste as good as it looked?


I took a bite.
And another.
And another.
Soon, it was all gone.
It was a pretty darn good vegetarian Mexican Taco Salad. In Bangalore. In India.

As if all that excitement weren't enough, the Colombian rendered her version of Get Lucky.  I asked the business thinker if he recognized the tune.  He did not.  The shock of a Colombian providing live entertainment at a TexMex place in Bangalore in India paled next to the shock of one not recognizing Get Lucky ;)   

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