The first days in India there was so much to get used to. As we were staying with A’s family I immediately found myself being immersed into the Indian culture. And no matter how much I had been reading before the trip – many things still made me feel clueless. I tried my best to look at what the others where doing and copy them.
The first thing I had to learn was to eat with my hands. It is not hard at all, it is actually the most intuitive way of eating at all, if you think about it. But still it didn’t come naturally to me.
For a moment I felt like everyone was watching me, and I was staring at the big pile of Vada on my plate. As a guest I was supposed to dig in first. But how to dig in with my hands? Should I lift up the whole piece and bit a mouthful? Or take piece by piece and put into my mouth? Vadas looks almost like donuts and it should be an easy thing to eat for a beginner, but I felt like I just didn’t know where to start.
After a short embarrassing moment A started eating on his plate, and after watching him I dared to lift up one Vada too. As I dared to try I realised how very easy it is to eat with your hands. It is actually quite fun!
I also needed instructions about how to use the shower and the toilet. Quite hilarious when you think of it – even an Indian three-year-old know how to do these things.