‘Lauren, we have a big problem, I need your help, we need to smuggle six eggs out of the house before my mother finds out’
My Airbnb host stood at my bedroom door in a state of panic. A guest had brought half a dozen eggs into the house, thinking he was going to be able to have a poached egg on toast. Oh dear, I thought, this is going to be an operation. The said eggs had been left in his bedroom. I am not talking about drugs here, I am talking about eggs, chicken’s eggs. They may have wellbeen cocaine. If the mother had discovered them, she would have thrown him out and called the egg police.
Two years ago I decided to give up meat or at least cut down. In wasn’t hard as I had just spent a month living with a Hindu family who were quite strict vegetarians. I felt better and then decided that perhaps I should take this a little more serious as I had read quite a lot about the health benefits. I tried to give up cheese and dairy. To be honest I did quite well.
Travelling can be challenging though so just occasionally I have succumbed to the odd cheese burger. I have never felt guilty because I know I consume at least 80% less of such food products than I used to and that has to be good for the planet, right? I have also laughed my way through all the jokes and snide remarks about vegetarianism because I know it is a growing trend and I am not really a hippy.
I find myself back staying with my Hindu family in Jaipur and this issue is viewed in a slightly different light. To them it is how they have been brought up and the chief enforcer of saying no to meat and dairy is my friends mother. A traditional Indian lady who is loving and warm but is still the rule setter of the whole family. Vegetarianism to her is part of her religion, this also includes saying a strict no to alcohol.
Now although these rules are enforced and everyone abides on the surface, we have had our odd moments of naughtiness, A bottle of rum was smuggled in on Xmas Eve, it was her son and daughter-in-law’s idea I might add but I was happy to partake. They smuggled it into my room and I had to hide it in my knicker draw. Banned alcohol always tastes better by the way and I had forgotten that taste. We sat whispering like college students on my bed, it was kind of amusing.
Now another knock on my door. “Mother is out, she has gone to a wedding my host whispered, would you like to come out and eat eggs? Well I was hungry.
We sneaked out late, (not down a drainpipe) and drove down to the street, looking for a dodgy street food vendor who it was rumoured could turn out a great omelette. There he was with his hot pan and stacks of eggs, throwing in onions tomatoes and chilli, had this guy no shame? We stood in the shadows as we devoured hard-boiled eggs followed by omelettes disguised and wrapped up in paper plates. Boy those eggs tasted good. I just hope they are not addictive and we don’t get caught.
Why do things always taste better when you are restricted in having them. You know what I mean, chocolate cake comes to mind. In fact, I do not really drink, but because it is not allowed I have found myself thinking about how wonderful the odd glass of vino would be.
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