Dec 27, 2006

Very Merry Currymas!!!

Let me start this post by addressing those who are not familiar with me.

I LOVE curry. I jones for the stuff. I would mainline it if I could find a needle big enough to accommodate the chunks of lamb, goat, chicken, and shrimp. I dream in technicolor tikka masala. The stuff is good, yo.

After a lovely Christmas Eve dinner spent at Denny's partaking in their rarest chuck steak (mmm mmm mmm!), we found ourselves facing Christmas dinner with no roast goose, not even roast beef to stuff our cheery faces with, thus we were left with the dilemma of trying to find a place in the South that would deign to be open on Christmas.

Fortunately, the Souf has changed significantly since the last time I lived here (high school class of '98, baby) and has gotten themselves some dagnab diversity. You see, when I lived in the South... Taco Bell was considered ethnic. Now, apparently through an exchange program where they send crackers to Sacramento to found a meth head district known as "Rio Linda" (no offense), they have gotten themselves an absolute blend of my Latino and Indian friends, particularly in Winston-Salem where dear daddy lives.

SOOOOO with anticipation burning in my curry starved veins, I typed in "Indian food" and "Winston-Salem" and came across an AWESOME restaurant open on Christmas, which featured some of the best Indian food I've had, short of the chicken makhani at Priya's in Rancho Cordova (you'd kill your children for the stuff; I've seen it happen). So my Christmas dinner consisted of poppadoms, samosas, lamb vindaloo, and garlic naan. Stuff your Christmas goose! I'm happy! My dad, naturally, was thrilled, having lived in India, Afghanistan, and Indonesia through childhood, thus giving him a taste for things that will burn off his taste buds. Mom, not so much. Hormel chili is on the spicy side for her. Also props to said restaurant for an amazing array of delicious chutneys. Ahhhh, Christmas.

Interesting blend of decor in this restaurant too. Statue of Buddha, statue of Krishna, and Christmas tree. Happy holidays indeed! My kind of place.

So then it was onto Greenville on the 26th, by way of Saratoga, NC, which I believe is just east of Deliverance. Egad. It did bring back tugs of nolstalgia to have to go into a gas station to pay prior to pumping the gasoline though. To their credit, no one made me squeal lika pig, and they had some damn good chicken wings.

Argh, stupid spotty stolen wi fi connection caused me to lose some stuff, so ONCE AGAIN, here are the promised West Virginia pictures:

And, of a different angle of the SAME creek:

Now.. the next picture may not appeal to you, but I like it because it's got strata up the wazoo, and I LOVE strata! I'm a sucker geek for antiquity and strata are the ultimate geological antiquity, thus tempting me to write another 13 page paper on the Lothagam Jaw (shout out to my anthro brethren). Of course, since this picture was taken in West Virginia, more likely to find dino or Injun fossils, not potential human ancestors, but whatever. And to the uninitiated, Duane Gish is the Antichrist. Yabba Dabba Doo.

So, as stated, I'm in Greenville, NC, going into rapid withdrawal because there aren't any curry restaurants here. Oh well, I'm going back to see Dad, and to Charlotte to see Slappy, and there are curry houses there, so in the meantime, I'll put on a cumin patch and wait out the DTs.

Greenville, for what it's worth, has a kickass hospital. I have never seen a bloody FLEET of life flight choppers before, thus leading me to believe that this area is either larger than I anticipated, or John Deere tractors are a hell of a lot more dangerous than I anticipated. Either way, they have gamma ray MRIs they advertise the hell out of. Awesome.

Also, there seems to be an odd dynamic in the South that I remember from teenhood in that people are either EXTREMELY friendly or they are completely unfriendly, and there are a hell of a lot of unfriendly people, leading me to discover that I use chipper idiocy as a defense mechanism, thus, while doing my shopping, was grinning at people and saying "hi!" like I'd had fairy dust blown up my butt.

This is an effective strategy, and one I will pass on to you, brothers and sisters. See, you cannot be a *little* weird in the South. A *little* weird will cause your life to be unpleasant. You must either be American Gothic, pitchfork-holding Hank Hill sane, or you must be batshit insane. There is no in between. You also cannot be dark/defensive insane. This will cause the bad type of "what's wrong with you?" "Was you on Ricki Lake" (heard that one in high school) talk. No no no. You must be the bubbly babbly "I like pudding; my name is Tiffany!" sort of insane. The type of airhead everyone knows, no one dislikes, but no one really wants to be around either because you're not sure whether or not she's going to stab you with a screwdriver while giggling. When people are being decidedly unfriendly, just babble at them cluelessly, occasionally punctuating it with "I'm from California!" Eventually, people will be nice to you, if only as their own defense mechanism.

You don't actually have to be from California for this to work. Saying "I'm from California!" in a Southern, English, Scottish, or Joisey accent is actually even more effective, particularly the Southern drawl. "I'm from SOUTHERN California... yo."

The other people in the South seem to have already adopted this strategy, and as such, are also developing a greatly appreciated sense of irony. Last night, I went to Red Lobster, since I still had no proper food (thus I've gained like 10 lbs in the last two weeks; mm mmm) and the waitress, who was absolutely delightful and quite southern spoken said "Our potatoes with everything actually have pico de gallo (pronounced correctly, btw, so props to her)", and I said "I like pico de gallo, that's fine" and she laughed and said "Most of our guests are like, (like!! She said "like" like a proper Californian; we're spreading!) 'pico de huh???'" Good on you, Red Lobster waitress. She was having a rough night too, and I fully appreciate waitstaff that flat out TELL you they're having a rough night rather than just inexplicably acting like bastards.

On the SGU front, it is exactly two weeks until I register, less than two weeks before I leave and OMG AM I FREAKING OUT!!! I am torn between excitement and wondering how nutty I must be to have gotten myself into this. AIIIEEEEEEE!

I did have to call Bay Shore again, which I'm sure is about to put me on call block (SGU's main offices are in Bay Shore, NY, but please do not be a poser if you go to SGU and claim that you went to SGU in "New York". Freak. I do like claiming to have gone to med school a "little south of Miami" though.. yeah, or a little North of Venezuela.) because I lost my financial aid id and pin. They're random series of letters and numbers that I don't believe you can change, so write them down somewhere.

I've also decided to actually buy the medical kit they offer to you at a discount which comes with all sorts of doctor goodies like a decent stethoscope and otoscope... I was waffling on it, because I know you don't *technically* need everything in the kit, but it's actually a fairly decent deal, and the selling point was that it comes in a doctor bag with your initials on it. Am I a geek? Oh yes... oh yes.


Aboulic said...

Hi Ishie.

Never believe people when they say the internet makes it easy to find things. I've been (intermittantly) trying to find you since I returned home from college (a IM-less wasteland) 2 weeks ago to find MSN had eaten my messenger contacts.

Nice blog, BTW, but it makes it hard to start a conversation with 'how are you?' :) (which is about the limit of my conversational skills :), nah, I promise i'm cutting down on the self-depreciating humour)

I hope you'll drop me a line sometime, is still as good an email address as any.

Ishie said...

Hey there! How's it going???

I'll drop you a line soon, but still have a billion things to do before the big day!