Vegetarians at the Islamic Feast

So yeah.  James and I are vegetarian.  Soft-core – we eat fish and other sea-creatures, but no land animals or birds.  Blahblahblah.

It’s been really easy to be full-veg here in India.  The majority religion is a vegetarian one, and most restaurants seems to be labeled veg, non-veg, or veg and non-veg.  We’ve mostly stuck to the veg only ones.  (Pure veg, by the way, means no egg when looking at restaurant signs in India.)

So we moved into our new digs.  We had our first night, sleeping on our comfortable spring mattress (an extravagance in a land of flat pallet type mattresses, but well worth it).  The first full day, we met a bunch of our neighbors.  The family across the street was out and about in front of their house…and boy did we get a grand introduction!!!

The 1st of October is the official end of Ramadan (or Ramzan) and the beginning of a two day feast after a month of fasting for Islam. We live in about a 98% Islamic hood.  When we got to our gate and said hi to the neighbors, they invited us to the first hour of the feast beginning at 9:30 am. We very graciously accepted the invitation, woke up the next day and went to breakfast at our new neighbors’ house across the street…

Well, Islamic people as a rule are not vegetarian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah – we knew that.  For some reason, we thought that breakfast, of all meals, would have some kind of non-meat options…

We have a rule.  If someone prepares a bunch of food for us and, out of kindness and ignorance, serves us meat, we will eat it with big smiles on our faces, enjoying it to the very limits of our abilities.

They served us both a huge amount of beef, chicken and mutton prepared in the spiciest onion sauce I’ve ever had in my life and we both ate every single bite with great big smiles on our faces! As a matter of fact we both had seconds and James had thirds as our hosts literally hovered over us and watched us eat every single one of those bites. The children ate with us, but the rest of the family just…well…hovered.

I snuck glances at James, who sweated profusely and smiled with giant chunks of mutton streaming from his teeth and our hosts looked at each other and smiled and piled more dead animals on his plate… Oh the pain!

After an hour and a half of that we made our way back to our wonderful little home and James slept for the rest of the day. I just kind of laid around, read, and re-cooped for the rest of the day.

Today I feel just fine!

We’re at our favorite vegi place waiting for lunch to start… It’s all good but every time I think of the huge, gnarly chunks of goat that I laboriously picked out of my teeth yesterday my stomach does a little jig.


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