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To all my Indian friends whining about how I whine about the food in Bangalore: STFU.

The church I go to, the pastor’s wife is from Malaysia (Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, if I’m not mistaken). I asked here, how was the transition moving to Bangalore. She sighed, “It was really by the grace of God….”

1) I’m not saying Indian food is bad, I’m saying the options I have in Bangalore is bad. Where I work, it’s either the cafeteria (it has its moments) or a food court 1 km away. The food court has three stalls, all Indian (north, south and “Chinese”), one being entirely vegetarian, as well as McDonalds and Barista Lavaaza (some sort of crappy Starbucks knockoff – and Starbucks is overpriced crap as it is). So for breakfast and lunch, it’s pretty much crap.

Then there’s where I’m staying – the food is bad at the cafeteria. The food on Cambridge Layout, the nearest main road, is similarly limited – there is Marry Brown (craptacular place that makes McDonalds look good), a dodgy North Indian place, dozens of sweets and chaats shops, and a Coffee Cafe Day (side note: I really, really hate the name). So you could see how on a daily basis, my food options range from crap to overpriced crap.

Yes, I could go to Indiranagar or Brigade Road or the likes, but it is not something you could do everyday (its not very convenient or affordable). So for weekdays, I usually have crappy Indian food. Forgive me if I think this sucks.

2) As for the options available, I can’t believe anyone can honestly say there are as many options in Bangalore as in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Yes, for my vegetarian Indian friends, India provides you unparallel options and varieties. I’m not vegetarian (well, these days, I’m practically am), so I don’t give a flying rat’s ass.

Yes, Indian food is diverse. South Indian food itself is diverse. But the diversity is unmatched compared to what I’m used to back home. (Also, it doesn’t help that I got food poisoning on my second day here, making me extremely wary of any place that looks dodgy).

3) And it goes beyond just the options – its the accessibility. Even when I was staying in Ipoh, a sleepy, very low-density city, there was simply far more restaurant options within walking distance from where I stayed. I used to complain in my first year how limited my options were in Pasir Panjang (the intersection between Pasir Panjang Road and South Buona Vista Road) – but I had far more to choose from compared to where I’m staying in Bangalore. And if I get the hunger pangs past 10-11pm in Bangalore, well, too bad.

And I’m not staying that far from town (5 minutes to Brigade, 10 minutes to Indiranagar, walking distance to Old Madras Road). Nobody delivers food here – I don’t think I ever lived anywhere where I couldn’t order a pizza before.

4) Stop being so prissy about Indian food. Yes, its lovely (except the shit I eat on a daily basis). But you grew up on it, and therefore love it. I didn’t. Stop being so bloody defensive when someone doesn’t appreciate Indian food as much as you do. And stop starting your first conversation with me in India as, “Oh, you must be loving the food here/Oh, you must be putting on weight here”. Uhm, no. On average, I eat less a day these days than I do in a meal back home.

5) I realize I can’t get the food I know and love from Malaysia (and to the lesser extent, Singapore) in London, Melbourne, Sydney, Vancouver and Dublin (my top five choices of cities I want to live in). But the trade offs are much better there – better quality of living, higher wages. The trades off are much better even in Singapore. But mark my words, I’ll still complain (unless I’m living in somewhere whose cuisine I feel surpasses that of Malaysia, like Thailand or Mexico).

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