Not a Total Gadjo


Most of my father’s family left an area around the Sind hundreds of years ago and took a very long trip. They ended up in Bohemia for a while before making their way to the US, with only a smattering of words, a bit of music and some dark, curly hair left to tell the story of their migration. They are called Black Dutch, Roma, Sinti. There are still a few of what my grandmother called “darkies” in our family. When I came out with a head of black hair she was thrilled. I think she would also be thrilled to know that I am making that migration a full circle.

So, I was working on  my travel plans then my friends showed up and it all went out the window (except Hawaii). Not for a terrible reason though, for a really good one. They invited me to go to INDIA with them.  I know I said I would  be collecting rice dishes, but the plan is looking more like an Indian food fest.

Here is the itinerary so far:

Chennai – The city is located on the south-east coast of India in Tamil Nadu. This is where my friend is from and where the main event will be – Her wedding. I’m looking forward to meeting aunties and uncles and listening to some jazz with her dad while I’m there. I’m really looking forward to home cooked food.

Kanchipuram – This is where I have decided I want to take a day trip to. Kanchipuram is about two hours inland from Chennai and is famous for it’s silks. It is also called the City of a Thousand Temples.

Delhi (New and Old) – Delhi is where my other friend, the male half of the wedding party, is from. We’ll be heading there for a reception. If there are two cities that paint a picture of India for me (however imaginary it might be), Delhi is certainly one of them. I’m pretty sure I will be willing to risk any ill effects of street food and try some here.

Agra – It is really just a given that I go to Agra. I am not sure if my son will be coming with me or not yet, but if so I am going to plan to spend his birthday in Agra. Seems like a great place to turn eight. We’ll bring a nice sweet, put a candle in it and sit in the gardens of the Taj Mahal.

and, if I have time Varanasi – Varanasi is the other picture of India I have always carried in my mind. The Ganges. I cannot leave without seeing it one way or another. Although the river flows close to Delhi (a few hours away), Varanasi is  the spiritual home of the river. I am a bit sad that I won’t be able to see the Indus, birthplace of my families journey.

A few other options I have thought about are Jaipur, Ellora, Nainital, and Puri. I know I won’t have time to take it all in, but one thing I will make sure of is to come back with a few family recipes.

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