Internal Rebell(y)ian in Ahmedabad


Sickness sits in wait in my stomach, all day within striking distance. Meaning I feel pretty yucky but have managed to walk around, more or less.

One searches for the culprit. (Although hopefully from a lying down position.) In this case, I think it was the habit of having filtered water at certain apartments and good restaurants that led me to have a big gulp of a cold glass that may not have fit that description i.e. was not filtered.

But then again it could also have been about ten other things, boiling (unfortunately not) to one main problem – overconfidence.

I feel a bit idiotic. In the “old” India, because I traveled alone, I was pretty good about the rules. Bottled water was not readily then so I had a small vial of iodine crystals that I carried with my passport case around my neck. Every day, I would mix a little water in its glass, shake it till it turned brown (almost immediately), and pour the stuff into my big green canteen. (Once the water inside tasted like skinned knee, you were pretty sure it was safe.)

Now, we go through six plastic bottles a day, and then, in our zeal to avoid plastic rely on the benefits of certain filtration systems used by good restaurants and certain homes we visit. (My daughter swears that the filtration systems are fine. For some reason – mainly that she is not also sick – I believe her.)

Still, I should have distinguished between filter systems and non-filter systems. (I guess.) (Or maybe I should have not eaten the mung bean salad, the raw tomatoes, the mint leaves, the ras malai, or shared lunch with about ten other people, all trying out each other’s tiffins.

Even in the old days, in the heat, it was hard to always stay strong. Then, my big risk (also go-to item) was a fresh cucumber. Indian vendors at that time loved to have their merchandise decoratively displayed so a sundial of pale pre-peeled, pre-fly-studded cucumbers would sit on an array of deep green banana leaves. These tended to glisten as every once in a while the guy would take his hand (right one) and flick water on them from a big can of murky fluid.

But I’d be so thirsty, and hungry–skinned knee gets tiresome–so I’d have to go through a series of fairly elaborate hand gestures and gutteral ne’s to clarify that (i) I wanted one of the unpeeled ones, even though (ii) the vendor should then peel it for me, and (iii) I’d buy the whole one; and (iv) he should not either dip his knife in the large can of dark water or (v) wipe the blade, mid-peel, on the gunny sack of cloth he kept by the tin. By the time I (vi) got him not to cut the thing into quarters and (vii) eschewed the spicy salt he sprinkled on each slice – salt – I am not someone that likes salt much, and frankly I was also a bit suspicious of his salt container which seemed to have a fair amount of other stuff in it (as well as on it) – he would think I was completely nuts. (Which, because I was Western, was to be expected.)

Anyway, I know it was not a cucumber this time. They are not, apparently, in season.

(Above is my daughter eating from a tiffin prepared for her on a regular basis for lunch. I do not suspect the tiffin.)

(Bad news – we have a dinner tonight with a family that I am very excited to spend time with, I mean, that I would otherwise be very excited to spend time with.)

(Good news – my daughter has found some fizzy water!)

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11 Comments on “Internal Rebell(y)ian in Ahmedabad”

  1. hedgewitch Says:

    Loving your tags, k–sorry to hear about the stomach issues. I am not a fan of Indian food, strangely, as my tastes are pretty eclectic, but something in the spicing of dishes just tastes wrong to me–therefore most of the actual meal stuff wouldn’t appeal to me(though what choice do you really have), but who can resist a cucumber in the heat? I hope the unpleasantness abates.

  2. ayala Says:

    Sorry to hear you are not feeling well. An interesting post, always wanted to go to India..perhaps some day . 🙂 Feel Better!

  3. janehewey Says:

    I admire your adventuresome spirit and all that you’ve taken on.
    I hope your upset passes quickly and you can enjoy the family you are excited to meet. It sounds like you are sick from worry. The single word Trust might be a good mantra right about now. (often works for me) Stay well!

  4. Wishing you better ~ love the cucumber story 🙂

  5. brian miller Says:

    ha. i love trying new foods no matter where we go and always look for crazy things to try…and the older i get the more it seems to backfire on me…smiles. hope your stomach is feeling better.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much Brian for linking me yesterday. I don’t think it was the food that got me but the water as my daughter and I ate te same but I drank part of a glass of water that had bacteria I am not used to. She was more careful on that front. K.

  6. Zeb Says:

    I don’t have any particular comments other than I’m enjoying your travel (b)log.

  7. Mama Zen Says:

    I hope that you mend quickly!

  8. Sheila Says:

    what an adventure…and that is just the eating part – wow! Hope your belly’s all better by now.

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