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Little India

posted Jul 1, 2012, 5:40 AM by jj pionke
I slept for 6 hours, got up, took some tums for my slightly sour stomach, and headed out to Little India where I was meeting a friend from my internship at NUS.  She brought her son along (he's home for Summer break from Yale).  We started by wandering a bit and then landed up at a small diner type of place where I had the equivalent of Indian pancakes.

Indian pancakes for breakfast
They were quite good and not at all what I expected.  The whole shebang is basically fermented rice.  The orange stuff is brown sugar and the white stuff in the metal bowl is coconut milk.  You dip the pancakes in both according to taste.  After breakfast we went to temple.  We took our shoes off (and socks in my case), washed our feet, and entered the busy temple.  My friend explained that this temple was where more South Indians came.  As we walked around the temple, praying to each God or Goddess, my friend and her son explained each one and why they were important.  It was fascinating.  You could certainly light candles and so forth, but I settled on showing proof of my blessings here.  Mom, think of this as the equivalent of lighting candles in a church.

Closeup from going to Temple

I didn't really notice the red having a smell but the white just above it is ash from sandalwood and other aromatics.  I can still faintly smell it on my hands.  By the time I got home, I was drenched in sweat so I took a shower and washed my clothes.  Most of the red came off except for in the worry line between my eyebrows so I look like I got whacked in the forehead by a small projectile that then left a tear in my head.  I find it rather amusing.  I also got quite a few shocked looking stares from Indians on my way home.  *grin*

After going to the temple, we went to the Little India wet market.  When we think of markets in the US, we usually think of Farmers Markets and usually those are flowers, fruits, veggies, pastries/breads, and the occasional meat seller if you are lucky.  A true wet market is where the fresh caught or slaughtered fish and animals are brought for sale.  I didn't see anything being slaughtered thankfully and this wet market was mostly about fish. I saw a few stalls selling goat and mutton, as well as chicken.  See the Flickr page for several pics from the wet market of fish, fruits, and veggies. Here is one to wet your appetite:

Little India Wet Market

We stopped for some chendo and water at one point and just chatted.  I don't really know how to describe chendo other than it is good but I was worried about it being a bit rich for my guts especially so close to a long flight so I didn't finish mine.  :(  All in all, it was a great adventure to Little India.  I am so glad that my friend offered to show me around.  I would never have appreciated as deeply or understood what I was seeing if it had not been for her and her son.