Search Results for: india

India Unplugged by Aurelia Zoss

When you scour the bookstore or internet for books on India, you typically find either thick guidebooks, language assistance books or novels about the author’s path to spiritual enlightenment. Sometimes you will find a guidebook for women traveling alone to India and in a rare case, you might happen upon books that discuss culture differences and how to overcome them while traveling. Enter, India Unplugged by Aurelia Zoss

India Unplugged by Aurelia Zoss

I just read Aurelia Voss’ book titled, India Unplugged and it was a breath of fresh air, seeing as though Aurelia LIVED in India for three years! It is a glimpse into her life there while working and living in a country that is often misinterpreted and where few stories of a long-term assignment have been written down and shared with the masses. To get to know Aurelia a bit better, I asked Aurelia some questions about her time in India, as well as her thoughts on travel in general.

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Living in India

What do I like best about living in India

Written just after we arrived in Delhi, India for our three year stint. This photo is of my youngest … celebrating our family’s new favorite holiday EVER. Holi.


Kirsten from The Norwindians asks :

What do YOU like best about living in India?

I first drafted this blog post right away … sat down and started typing away.  Then it came time to actually answer the question and I got stuck.  I couldn’t find the answer to relay to you.  I was unable to narrow down my thoughts in a concise way, so as to smoothly explain what I like best about living in India.

First of all, I think that I need to do a better job of relegating my experiences to just Delhi.  I have seen SO little of INDIA, that my answer can only be in answer to the question, what do I like best about Delhi.

Husb travels extensively all over the country.  I admit that sometimes I slip and instead of referring to his trips as “business trips”, I mess up and say “Daddy’s on vacation.”  It’s anything but a vacation and he only sees the inside of hotels, airports and hangars. He gets to see Bangalore, Chennai, Hosur, Mumbai and more … but he doesn’t get close to experiencing Incredible India.

The kids and I thoroughly enjoyed Kerala …but our travels inside India stop there.  There is SO much of India left to be explored and I wish we had more on our list of sightseeing to add under the heading of “what I like best.”

Do you know how often times we forget to be tourists in our own home?  We still joke about the fact that while living in Cleveland, we never once went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
* * *

I digress.  Sorry, Kirsten!

I like best the opportunity to have a houseful of staff so that I can DO things.  I can participate in tour groups of the area, spend real quality time with friends, have weekly date nights with my Husb.  Not have to worry about washing clothes, grocery shopping or mopping floors.

I have the huge opportunity to REALLY get to know myself better, get to know my Husb better, spend more time with the kids, etc.

Have I fully utilized that opportunity?  I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t.  I’ve been sloughing away too many of these days and can only hope to get better at taking full advantage in the coming weeks.

I also like best the ability to see some superbly amazing sites … just minutes from our doorstep.  Alot of people say that once you’ve seen a tomb, you’ve seen them all … but I think they are all beautiful.  Even if I can only soak up 5 minutes worth of history, I feel it’s important to keep seeing the sights. What’s really the coolest about it all is that even during your daily drives, you pass by some amazing things – just on your way to a market, for instance.

I happen to also REALLY like best some of the ways that Delhi can change me.  I’m not a patient person by nature, and I don’t happen to play well with others (read : control freak, hot tempered and quick to speak).  If I can marinate a bit longer in this environment, I could quite possibly come out of this a better person.

Maybe the BEST is the new friendships.  Becoming an expat doesn’t simply mean you relocate to a new address, live in funky places or accumulate alot of frequent flier miles.  It also means you have the opportunity to make some amazing friends.

You have the ability to meet people from all over the world, who have been to zillions of places and seen miraculous things.  You can learn so much just by asking your new friends “What did you do yesterday?” and could write a book with the answers you get from asking “What is the coolest thing you’ve seen?”

I’m adding another zip code (here it’s called a pin code) to add to my previous TEN on the “where I’ve lived” list … and adding so … so, much more.

Indian Roti Bread

I did it myself!   

Indian Roti Bread


You will need :

2 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

Your supplies are :

One bowl

Flour for rolling

Rolling pin

Pancake Griddle



Adult Supervision Needed :

You will need an adult partner to help you with the cooking part.

How to :

First, always wash your hands!

 Using your bowl, mix together the flour and salt.  Make sure to use your fingers to mix the salt in well.  Add the oil next and mix ALL of the oil into the flour.  It will feel very mushy, but keep working until the flour mixture is crumbly.

Next, mix in the water and again use your fingers to create dough that is sticking together.

Once it is all mixed and you have a big ball of dough, cover it and let it have a rest time for 15 minutes.

Spread some flour onto your counter or table. Divide your dough into 6 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and then smoosh it flat.  Place each ball, one by one, onto your floured counter and roll out until you have made a flat roti (about the size of a small plate).  You might need to keep adding a pinch or two of flour as you roll to keep it from sticking.

 Next is the part where you will need help from your adult partner.  Heat a pancake griddle or flat skillet on high.  Place the roti on the pan and watch for the bubbles!  As soon as you see bubbles form (approximately 45 seconds), flip the roti.  Cook for an additional 45-60 seconds.

If you have a gas stove, here comes the fun part, ask your adult partner to remove the pan from the heat.  Place the roti directly on the flame and watch it expand into a ball!  Flip to the other side for just a couple of seconds, then remove to a plate.

Lightly spread the roti with butter and ENJOY!

Tekka Market, Little India, Singapore

I recently visited Tekka Market just before Diwali and I wanted to share just a bit of what I saw as I meandered ::

From the second floor ::

Someone please tell me what these are called.  They have the top that I’m accustomed to, but the pants/bottoms are just awesome —- I must get a couple of these!


Up close, these four guys had an amazing system going for preparing fish ::

Joe the Butcher has some amazing pieces of meat …

Then there is the black chicken … (bad picture, but … know that the black chicken is indeed there).

(and just because she will be tickled …. Mia’s rangoli creation for Diwali)


Her little hands were very busy with the process of stripping the flowers of their stems and preparing them to be fashioned into the flower shape she had in mind.

Happy Diwali, 2012!