Way back – last summer – I was going to post some more photographs from when I was staying with my Dad in India, but somehow that never happened.
Since this is mostly a film blog, let’s start with something on topic: a classic Bollywood poster. I have no idea what the film is about (although we easily can make a somewhat educated guess), but whenever I’m in India I take snaps of movie posters. Just because.
India means lots of yum food, although here is something I bet you haven’t seen before: poha, a dish made from rice flakes, a few veg of choice, spices and raisins (optional). It’s eaten for breakfast in some areas and not the sort of thing you would find on any restaurant menu, but rather what you would eat at home. My Dad had never actually heard of it and he’s been in India for years. Instead, a Romanian friend who is married to an Indian introduced me to poha and since I’m a big fan of cooked breakfast (I have miso soup most mornings), I eat this every now and then, when in India or elsewhere.
Another thing I ate (and eat) regularly is what’s-in-the-fridge veg soup – basically you raid your fridge and throw into the pot whatever you have got. No rules whatsoever. It’s a quick recipe but often you end up with delicious concoctions, in this case involving green string beans, dried shiitake, potatoes, peas, carrots, scallions, bitter gourd and some Indian veg I don’t know the name for (my Dad and I call them “Bällchen” because of their round shape). For broth, I usually go Chinese-style with soup, using goji berries (as below), ginger root, Chinese yam, red dates and other things of the sort. (Your local Chinese store will have pre-packed mixes.) I think with this particular batch of soup we also threw in some momos (Nepali dumplings, sold on many street corners in Delhi) at the end. Yum!
Because I’m this gluttonous, food-worshipping creature, one thing I love is markets. Whether in Costa Rica, Austria, the UK or wherever else I have lived, market day is always one of the highlights of my week. In India, I went to my Dad’s local Wednesday food market, which unlike in many other places in the world takes place in the evening, starting around 5 p.m. The first time we went, my Dad was late from work so night had already set in. I thought the pictures would end up a failure (I was not using flash), but in fact some turned out quite alright:
Here’s another one, which I quite like:
My personal favourite however it this one – it has the best composition and keeps you looking because there so much going on, exactly like it is at a busy market:
We went back to the market during daylight hours as well. Here’s one shot of a young kid, who was a total cutie. He was so aware of me taking the photograph, but was really happy about it (we were grinning broadly at each other). Really wish I could give him a copy of the shot!
Travelling means at least a bit of sightseeing, so my Dad took me to the Indian parliament and India Gate one weekend, which I hadn’t visited on my previous trips. It was a rainy, grey day, not great for taking pictures. The president’s house was shut away behind gates and I couldn’t find a good angle to photograph it, so in the end I went for the muddy puddles in front of the entrance portal where the raindrops were making lovely abstract designs:
Equally, I wasn’t too interested in taking yet another shot of India Gate and found myself more intrigued by the curving white line on the road that leads from the president’s house to the gate (hadn’t seen anything like that before!). N.B. That’s India Gate in the far distance.
India Gate itself was crowded with tourists of course, all taking their obligatory posing shots right in front of the structure. Not my thing really, so I turned my lens in the opposite direction – the meadows and waters nearby, where I spotted some local boys having lots of fun:
And a shot of a crosswalk leading to India Gate – a flawed picture because of the crop, but I still like the idea. If I go back to India, I’ll try to retake this one.
Now for a couple of random shots, such as the obligatory cow photo that you have to take whenever you travel to India:
And some hand-made brooms that I spied just around the corner from the above cow. They were simple, but beautiful.
Finally, another food-related shot, this one being from my last night in India when my Dad took me out to a fancy meal at the Hyatt Hotel. We ate at The China Kitchen and let’s just say I was very food-happy. You get to watch the cooks there:
Jumping in time and place now, from tropical Indian summer to European winter, specifically Vienna on the day I was leaving for London. We had a green Christmas, but then it finally snowed on my departure day! You can just see a bit of the snow as it is starting up in this photograph (I was catching the train to the airport).
On to London. Let’s start with a cup of wonderful coffee, from the people who know how to make it – Climpsons and Sons on Broadway Market (London Fields). I live very happily in East London because there are plenty of independent coffee shops like Climpsons that really know what they are doing – I struggle whenever I have to work in Notting Hill or South Kensington, because it’s all chains with burnt coffee there. Boohoo to that and yay for Climpsons & co.
Broadway Market, by the way, is a pretty awesome street, with lots of independent, fun shops and little restaurants. There’s this sewing store, which has a fabulously colourful button display in the window:
- #18 More buttonly.
- One restaurant I have been meaning to check out on Broadway is a Middle Eastern place, which is decorated with these gorgeous Turkish lamps (shot through the window here). You can bet that when I make it Istanbul one day, I’m going buy a whole lot of these, because what could be better than a ceiling full of magical lights?
Remember that photo competition from Terracotta for winning a 서양골동양과자점 앤티크 (Seoyang-gol Dongyang-gwaja-jeom Antique/Antique Bakery, South Korea, 2008) DVD? I was going to submit several photos of sweet treats from the farmers’ market, but somehow never got round to it. This was one of them:
It has been getting noticeable warmer over the past few days and I’ve declared the sandal/flip-flop season open. 🙂 Can’t wait for proper summer (and am sort of wishing for tropical, melt-if-you-move temperatures), so here’s a reminder from last July:
Another random photograph in this hodgepodge, this time of the Korean Cultural Centre and the daily life of London reflecting itself in its window pane:
There was also that one short trip to Dublin last November, where I attended an academic conference. I took few pictures and most I didn’t care for too much. I did like this shot of the river Liffey and the lit-up city at night:
Post-conference I went to Howth, just outside of Dublin, with a few people I had met (incidentally, two were Japanese 🙂 ), for a walk along the coastline. I took some photographs in the harbour:
And another one – probably the only photograph from that trip that I really like – it shows exactly what I was trying to capture.
You are probably feeling a little overwhelmed by now, so I’ll finish here. In case you are wondering, the camera used for these photographs is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 – yeah, that’s a mere point-and-shoot, although it’s more towards the high end of the spectrum (and I use manual settings). I’m still saving my pennies for the digital SLR, fingers crossed I’ll have one before travelling to Greece this August (I’m attending a friend’s wedding there).
Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed the hodgepodge. 😀
Bonus Bits (Related Posts):