Almost everything in India is negotiable. If you don’t want to pay full price on that ice cream, just tell them what you want to pay and most likely, (if the amount is reasonable) you get your ice cream!
I of course paid full price for that ice cream because I really wanted to try delicious Indian mango ice cream. Take my word – it was delicious!
Like I said – all things are negotiable save one. The American. Whether you’re white, black, brown, orange, green or blue, once the Indians get a whiff that you are from the states, it’s over.
Case and point – Binks and I wanted to mozy along on a houseboat for a long afternoon. My aunt and some family wanted to join. So, we all went to the houseboat office to ask for the price. Despite the fact I’m dressed in a salwar and am not talking, there is something that caused the manager to stare at me and Binks, and tell my aunt: “‘The price for everyone is 18,000 rupees.” (Approx. $400!) Ridonkulous!
There were about 5 of us, and my aunt had gone previously for less than half that price with more people nonetheless. And for once, no one was willing to negotiate. Everyone thinks, the Americans have dollars and it rains money there. (A post on this later.)
Needless to say, Binks and I high-tailed it out of there. We went to Alleppey beach instead.
After being in the sun, I needed a refreshing snack. Enter the orange:
It looks monstrous but if I told you that these pruney wrinkly things uncover the most delicious orangey orange you have ever eaten, would you believe me? You must! I think I had one-a-day. They were that delicious and because I like oranges!
Now for the kicker, after the beach, we drove about 3 hours to the shopping city – Ernakulam/Cochin. Upon arrival, everyone was hungry and my aunt suggested lunch at the Grand Hotel. It has of the best and most reputable restaurants in the city, I dare say the state.
First, the fabulous and lengthy menu:
It has everything you could want and more. Indian and not. I went for the usual/classic – The Meal and The Fish. At first, I had no idea what that meant, but I was all in.
We were started off with light airy papads.
Then arrived The Fish. It arrived wrapped in banana leaf, which the waiter carefully opened.
I don’t think you can imagine all the steam that came out after they unwrapped. This was the most delicious fish I have ever eaten to date. Believe me because I ate the whole thing myself. And, I have no regrets.
Turns out my meal was the traditional thali, which consists of rice and several Indian side dishes, including but not limited to the following:
different vegetable thorans, fish curry (not pictured),
and different chutneys.
My aunt ordered the mutton biryani.
All of the food was so delicious and totally makes me want to come back! Such great service and a great presentation. I will definitely make the 3 hour trip back when I go again to visit (post coming soon).
We went shopping galore. Spent way too much money for pretty things, and finally made our long journey back to the house.
After that big meal, an evening snack was sufficient.
That looks like an unripe banana, but it was wonderfully ripe on the inside. You have to trust me on that.
I’m an American, and it’s non-negotiable.