Brahmins, Jains and yogis beware!

#1 Aug 5th, 2016, 20:39
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According to all the observant Hindus I have spoken to downtown, there is not ONE pure veg restaurant in all of Kohima. Dimapur, I did not ask. And green leafy veggies are sparse in mixed restaurants.

My hotel spurned the idea of cooking what I purchase at the market (price didn't even come into it). So, it's 'I buy, you cook' time!

Tonight the street filled up with women and girls selling a large enough variety. They have the two types of 'ningro' (Sikkim word for bracken fern), both the bitter and less bitter variety. Bamboo shoots too. So, at a medium (low?)-end fleshfood restaurant tonight, during a power outage (they cooked by candlelight) the very welcoming ladies cooked up a simple sour soup.

Will post more details later but Kohima can be summed up in three words...

1. Dusty
2. Baptist
3. Hilly

Reminds me very much of Antananarivo, Madagascar - which also was a challenge for this vegetarian.
#2 Aug 5th, 2016, 21:49
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Assumptions, assumptions... yes, been there, done that. And it was pointed out to me, recently, that although the Brahmins that I know, in this part of India, are very much vegie, many others are not. In fact, according to my informant, the majority of Brahmins are not vegetarian.

The thread was recent, but I don't recall enough about the conversation to easily find it.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#3 Aug 5th, 2016, 22:06
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Although the Brahmins that I know, in this part of India, are very much vegie, many others are not. In fact, according to my informant, the majority of Brahmins are not vegetarian.
OK, Vaishnavas, Jains, yogis and Seventh-Day Adventists. Happy?
#4 Aug 5th, 2016, 22:09
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@peterjones - i asked a Q in one of your other threads but probably you didnt get to look. I'd repeat - Did you buy a last minute ticket from SEA to here? What airport did you fly out of and how much (ballpark fine) was the price? Need this for a friend. thanks!
#5 Aug 5th, 2016, 22:20
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Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post @peterjones - i asked a Q in one of your other threads but probably you didnt get to look. I'd repeat - Did you buy a last minute ticket from SEA to here? What airport did you fly out of and how much (ballpark fine) was the price? Need this for a friend. thanks!
I could look it up, but from KUL-> CCU was under USD100. $60? Air Asia
#6 Aug 5th, 2016, 23:05
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Originally Posted by Peterjones View Post OK, Vaishnavas ...
I don't know. Again. the ones I know are...
#7 Aug 6th, 2016, 20:09
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Update

I asked a Bengali Vaishnava merchant (obvious by his tulsi beads), the manager at PLAZA whether the city indeed had no pure veg restaurant and he told me to go up to STAR MART (under rennovation btw). On the top floor, up five floors, this hiking up and down hills on the cracked sidewalks in rush hour to boot, is getting to me. Somehow I foolishly expected Nagaland's state capital of Kohima to be as charming as the adivasi villages in Orissa. NOT, and why should it be? However, so far I like Gantok a lot better in terms of infrastructure and food choices. Though the Nagaland women are more appealing aesthetically, and more social (smiling, friendly, chatty ex-headhunter Baptists) than the Sikkinese and Gorkhas. I find the Angami and Kheliang to be on the top of the eye candy pyramid.

Back on track...

JAT in Jail Colony is *sort of* a pure veg place. They use separate utensils, which of course also means pots. But fleshfood is on the menu, mammals included. I didn't scrutinize if it is beef-free.

I didn't eat there, despite long walk to get there (one can take a share taxi for 10 (or is it 20?) roops. Why not? Pricey. I am not going to pay 480 for a veg thali in a very ordinary, albeit clean, eatery. Palak paneer 250. Dahi 80.

"I get a veg thali in Calcutta for 150"
'This isn't Calcutta, this is Kohima.' she replied without a touch of sarcasm

Nice lowlander Indian woman.

But I had my budget and instead went to the street for hot veg pakoras - huge bag 50.

'My I buy you cook' strategy has proved necessay here. Today it was mustard greens done up at a very much neaty Lotha rice 'greasy spoon'.
#8 Aug 6th, 2016, 20:35
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I'm really shocked a the idea of veg thali for 480 rupees!

But I'm remembering a conversation with a Manipuri friend of my wife's, about to leave to live in Nagaland, saying that the food in that part of the world is very different. Hope visit her and find out, one day. Sadly, she is seriously ill and I don't know if it will be possible.

Quote:
'My I buy you cook' strategy has proved necessay here. Today it was mustard greens done up at a very much neaty Lotha rice 'greasy spoon'.
How much are they charging you to cook your own ingredients?
#9 Aug 6th, 2016, 20:46
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Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post @peterjones - i asked a Q in one of your other threads but probably you didnt get to look. I'd repeat - Did you buy a last minute ticket from SEA to here? What airport did you fly out of and how much (ballpark fine) was the price? Need this for a friend. thanks!
I verified - just under USD 200 for return flight, leave Kuala Lumpur July, return 6 weeks later in August, including returning to Malaysia with 15 kilos of checked luggage. No meals. No extras.

This is one of the reasons I make Malaysia my home base: Air Asia hub
#10 Aug 6th, 2016, 20:55
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I'm really shocked a the idea of veg thali for 480 rupees!

But I'm remembering a conversation with a Manipuri friend of my wife's, about to leave to live in Nagaland, saying that the food in that part of the world is very different. Hope visit her and find out, one day. Sadly, she is seriously ill and I don't know if it will be possible.


How much are they charging you to cook your own ingredients?
50-80 in Gangtok (it depended whether I ordered anything from their menu as well, you know - tea, rice...

100 here. I actually tipped her 20 because I am grateful they do it at all. All the menu meals (rice and meat) are about 150. 'Why should I take up space and they not charge a similar amount?' is my attitude. Three nice Lotha ladies. I couldn't help but smile listening to the Bible Belt hymns they play. Sure sounded like Hank Williams. I am actually putting on a white shirt and going to church tomorrow morning - though I haven't decided who is more likely to have a better choir - Catholics or Protestants. To think that years ago it would have been impossible for me to enter a church service other than my aesthetic and mystical appreviation for Orthodoxy (I like the icons and 'Christ has risen!')

But the aroma was disgusting. No, not the frankincense at the Russian church in Vancouver. I mean in the Nagaland restaurant. I asked if it was bleach in the sewer but a diner said that is the smell of mear. Goat? Mutton?

Gotta find some nice Seventh Day Adventist girls to ask out.
#11 Aug 6th, 2016, 20:57
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Triplicate post deleted.

What is going on here?
#12 Aug 6th, 2016, 20:57
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Thank you. That looks like a very good fare.
#13 Aug 6th, 2016, 21:05
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#14 Aug 6th, 2016, 21:06
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Originally Posted by Peterjones View Post 50-80! in Gangtok (it depended whether I ordered anything from their menu as well, you know - tea, rice...

100 here. I actually tipped her 20 because I am grateful they do it at all. All the menu meals (rice and meat) are about 150. 'Why should I take up space and they not charge a similar amount?' is my attitude.
Sounds good!
Quote:
Three nice Lotha ladies.
Sounds better!
Quote:
I couldn't help but smile listening to the Bible Belt hymns they play. Sure sounded like Hank Williams.
Sounds awful! Is christianity really that much in-you-face up there? Looks like I'm going to have to send my wife and stay at home.

Quote:
Gotta find some nice Seventh Day Adventist girls to ask out.
Yeah, well... should have got the religion sorted out a bit more clearly with my wife before we started. Ten years too late now!
#15 Aug 6th, 2016, 21:33
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I disagree with you Nick

"Sounds awful! Is christianity really that much in-you-face up there? Looks like I'm going to have to send my wife and stay at home."

I am not one to tell you how to think (even less recomnend anything to do with your wife!) but my perspective is different...

As I have aged I appreciate Christianity and Christians quite differently than decades ago. I'll bet that Vivekananda and Ramana Maharshi were more tolerant than us, and *by 'us' I mean a generation and a half of westerners who adopted many beliefs and practices of Hindus and Buddhists. I am not saying it is good or bad, just that I no longer (well, *less*) have the fear, resentment and confusion about hearing that, that word - 'Christ'.

In my opinion, the reason we rebel, look elsewhere, is because we are cultural Christians (or for some of us Jews). Nothing we can do about it, for better or worse. I am of the opinion (and have tested thus successfully numerous times) that I can get the vibe of someone (it's instananeous, and based on body language, manner, way of interacting with the same and opposite gender, way of conducting business, but edpecially *how one looks out at the world* - literally the look in the eye, whether one is Hindu, Muslim or Christian).

But, back on track... I do not find the Christians here at all 'in my face'. No one preaches to me. If you sit in a Hindu owned restaurant and there is a garlanded Deity, you don't get offended do you? 'It's not my business'. I find the combination of a 'tribal' population that has embraced a foreign religion (also a universal one, like Buddhism), well *charming*. I do not mean this in a condescending way. I especially like the way the men are gentle and the women not so shy.

I feel as if I have stepped into 1965 prairie culture of North America. And I quite like it - except for the grubby streets and a strange economy where few of the Nagas appear to run any of the shops (they are Hindu and MuslIm lowlanders) or fo the dirty and dangerous work (they are Biharis and Nepalis as far as I can tell - actually I would be pissed off if I was a poor Bengali Brahmin. I wouldn't qualify for affirmative action.
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