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Glasgow vil Saapattu Raman!!

Glasgow is a cute little city.  With a population of 800K it can be probably considered a decent sized town in India, but in Scotland it is one of the biggest cities.  When I reached there it was cold beyond my comfort levels. To go from 35 degree Celsius to -5 degrees celsius in a matter of 20 hours is too much.  First couple of days I found it difficult to manage but got used to it as the week progressed.  Then it is the time to return home!! As in any other western city, the air is clean.  I dont know when our cities are going to clean like that. Within a week I landed in Chennai and got little exposed to our pollution levels, got cold and fever.  I think it is better to stick around Chennai only.  Good and pollution free environment doesnt suit me at all!!

First time in life, I relied on Google maps to navigate my way and find places in Glasgow.  The places I tried to figure out are nothing but the Indian restaurants.  I zeroed in on 3-4 Indian restaurants to go but finally ended up eating from one single restaurant all the seven days.  I was not very explorative and even my colleagues in the office got little annoyed that I am not trying out newer places.  But for me once I settle on  some kind of rhythm, I find it little difficult to come out of it.

The Scotts have become a big lover of Indian cuisine if I go by the number of them seen in Indian restaurants.  I heard one of my colleagues say that they have only 2 restaurants in their town and out of that 1 is Indian .  Can you guess the other one, it is Chinese!!! Scotts love to eat Indian curry and they come in droves.  When I think back if we Indians would be that accomodative in exploring other cuisines, I get an answer which is a clear "No".  Atleast, I am not going to be that. 

Being a vegetarian in these western countries is still a problem.  You dont have much choice and you end up eating some exotic stuff, which you have never heard in my life under the impression that it is vegetarian.  The best option is to get a bowl of french fries along with any stuff you order.  At least, I end up eating that.  Guess too much about food. 

But one thing I have to tell.  I found that to my great annoyance in Glasgow that I need to really work on my Hindi speaking skills, if at all I have any!! When you go to an Indian restaurant, from the shop owner to the bearer speaks to you in Hindi under the impression that you know that language.  I have to reply in English and invariably the next question veers around from where I come from? Yes, I am from Madras and I dont speak Hindi!!

PS: Couple of times before I got used to the name of Glasgow, I mentioned it as Glaxo to few people.


Anand said...

Karthik, Its a shame that we couldn't speak Hindi.
It happens everytime I go with my colleagues to Indian restaurant they would ask me to speak in Indian language with the waiters. I do have to explaib to them that English is the only common language.

Tikka masala is the most loved food in UK. Its tough being a vegeterian in western world. If you are stuck in this part of the world, you would defn find a italian restaurant serving veg pasta or pizza. This is the best bet for veggies apart from Indian cuisine.

Anonymous said...

Not being able to speak Hindi is not a shame but not being able to speak Tamizh properly (if that's your mother tongue) is a shame! So dont worry if you don't know Hindi. You could survive with English and Tamil all over the world!

adwait said...

So long you don't speak hindi is fine...but if you refuse to speak or even learn hindi...a big shame...and that goes for any language !! It is the attitude my friend which is follows !!

Venkat Muthukrishnan said...

@ Anand: I agree. A set of political masters denied this to people like us, whereas their children studied/study Hindi. You know the classical example. Look at the first family.

@ Anon: I read, write and speak Tamil, my mother tongue. I believe all languages including English is only to be used as a communication tool. I never worry about not knowing Hindi but at times feel it could make my life much easier.

@ Adwait: very true.. I did make efforts to learn Hindi during my college days. I enrolled for Prathmik exam and cleared it also, but with some outside help. Honestly that didnt help my Hindi in any way. Unfortunate!