Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Voyages

(9th St- South Philly)

Today Dave and I left the house with the intention of walking to Rittenhouse Square to read in the sun all day. After munching mock-ham, mock-beef, tofu, and veggies at Kingdom, we meandered around the Reading Terminal Market (an indoor farmer's market with restaurants and booth-tiques) where we stumbled into a cook-book-only bookstore (what?!), where I bought the book you see to the right. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this, but after I finish learning Polish (in around 3 or so months) I plan to start learning Hindi. My interest in Hindi stems from a new-found love of Bollywood movies, my stomach's inclination toward Indian food (the only food that never makes me sick), and my "fascination"* with Indian culture.
I intend on using Hindi. (I am constantly asked by people why I'm learning languages I won't use. Uh... I go to Poland more than I go to almost any other European country. And...) After I finish the course, Dave and I plan to go to India to learn about the country through food. We'll take vegetarian cooking classes (where I'll use my new Hindi skillz to discuss saffron and dals) then travel around the country learning its history and customs through regional cuisine. We talk about this plan fairly often (I even listen to travel podcasts that focus on India just so I can dream in more detail)... so you can imagine how my my heart almost stopped when I opened this month's issue to VegNews magazine to an advertisement which read:

If you enjoy adventure, history, culture, and delicious vegan cuisine, this is the trip for you. Join VegNews publishers Joseph Connelly and Colleen Holland as they host the journey of a lifetime—expertly guided by VegVoyages' India afficionados, Zac Lovas and RK Singhji. An intimate group of VegNews readers will explore the fascinating state of Rajasthan along with India's capital, New Delhi, and the breathtaking wonder, Taj Mahal. Other highlights include:

• Stay at a Maharajah's palace
• Dine at the best veg eateries in India
• Meander through colorful bazaars
• Learn Indian history
• Sleep on a world-famous overnight train
• Enjoy daily yoga classes in stunning settings
• Take a rickshaw through bustling city streets
• Visit an animal sanctuary
• Hike a national park teeming with wildlife
• Have dinner with a local family
• Stay in a picturesque village
• Take a vegan cooking class
• And so much more!

**12 days/12 nights**

Dave and I practically skipped home while I brainstormed at a million miles a minute how we'd raise the money in time (the trip is in October and costs over $1,200 per person- that's exlcuding airfair.) Then as Dave made dinner (garlic knots and angel hair tossed with olive oil and fresh basil,) I tore through the house, grabbed my computer, and went to the webpage to get more info. I was then met by this tragic sight:

I was devastated for 3 solid minutes, which is how long it took for me to find the Veg Voyages webpage. Dave and I are opening a savings account ASAP so that we can go on one of these trips. (Read the day by day itineraries. This is the one I'd like to go on, but it's happening too soon. I'm hoping they have something similar next year.)

Here are a couple more pictures from today:

Vegetarian and "Non Vegetarian" (Reading Terminal Market)
Excellent grammar on Chestnut St

*On "fascination". Nothing makes my eyes roll harder than someone nonchalantly dropping the phrase, "I'm fascinated by _____"- because they're usually not. They just want to seem worldly or studious or fuckknowswhatelse. You'll also notice that the blank is usually filled with "Japanese culture"- which these "fascinated" people use to justify their culturally appropriated "traditional Japanese tattoos" [which are usually not inspired by a fascination with Japanese tattoo history or customs rather just a general fascination with looking cool, but by feigning a serious interest in Japan they lend a certain validity to their otherwise meaningless art], their Asian-girl fetish, or something else equally as superficial. The second someone waxes poetic about a Japan fascination I feel slightly nauseous. These are also commonly the sort of people who, if asked for a book recommendation, offer up "Catcher In The Rye" because it is one of the only books they've ever read [and only did so because they were forced to in school.] I'm of course not saying that all fascinations- with Japan or otherwise- are inherently moronic, but this particular species of Japanese fancinatists- and you know the type I mean- have bastardized having an interest in a culture that is not yours for the rest of us. /rant)


  1. I'm going on that trip. You should get on the waiting list!

  2. Thanks for linking that site - I had no idea!

  3. @ Brandibee- ARE YOU SERIOUS?!? They're only taking 12 people, you are so lucky. I considered the waitinglist, but since there's two of us and it would be a serious scramble to pull together the money, I decided against it. I'm hoping to go next year on one their longer trips.

    I'd love to hear all about how it goes (and see photos!) Please keep in touch with me (here or at xdavinx at gmail . com)!!!

    @ Sam- Of course.You should come with next year....!