On a visit to Turkey in 2014, I had the pleasure of enjoying the traditional way in which coffee is brewed, even today. No matter the medium of heat, the the process is neither solitary nor hastened, yet is very simplistic with most basic of cooking tools. Coal or heated sand is used to cook the coffee with water and the only tool used is the distinctly shaped vessel with the long handle.
But, beyond the technicalities, it is the ritualization of the process that struck a chord in me. The making of a traditional coffee is a communal process. It is neither an individual brewing experience nor one done in bulk. But, rather it is a many to many process. Coffee is cooked in individual vessels but as many vessels as people gathered are placed on the medium of heat. Read More
Indeed, isn't a place nothing but its people? If so, I would say, Jerusalem has a multiple personality disorder!
While in Tel Aviv, I perceived a frenzied energy that served as a the steam outlet of all that pent up tension, here life was rather unremarkably normal on the surface. Despite the looming presence of the Western Wall and all its emotions, that even as an utter outsider with no ties, I was overwhelmed by! One of the defining moments of my trip to the country was at the Western Wall.
As I walked to the wall, at one point, I felt overtaken by a dense wave of energy - an incredibly sad one. And, I found myself uncontrollably crying, tears streaming down my cheeks without control, even as my brain was trying to make sense of what was happening. Read More
Cinque Terre is the quintessential Summer Riviera spot.
For those tired of the French coastline, its crowded beaches and uber expensive real estate, the Italian coast line next to it is very appealing alternative. They may share the sea but not much else, from attitude to cuisine to lifestyles.
While I was living in Italy, my friends and I decided to make a day trip from our apartments in Reggio Emilia in the mid-central Italy to the North-Western coast where the stretch of the riviera is. A quick research on the place told me it was a hot spot for visiting Americans. Somewhere I read that it had been featured in a 70s Hollywood movie and had since become a bucket list destination. Read More
Just over a year ago, I decided I needed a hiatus. A change. A chance. Something new. Utterly different. Something to slap me in the face and wake me up. A few months ago, an opportunity landed on my lap; it sounded too good to be true. And, it was! Too Good and Too True! :)
The long and short of it, is that I spent 9 months living outside US, for the most part based in Italy, traveling Europe, Asia and collecting information about cultures, peoples' values, real life experiences, what food means to people in different spaces in life and the world,.... and, yet how similar we all are. Read More
Indeed, it isn't about the food or the place. Truly, Florence is the one place I have felt so close to beauty and never felt overwhelmed by it. Rather, it has always sent my spirit soaring, filling me with hope and bringing smiles on my face. Rome may have the power of mind and the history of greatness but Florence has the grace that captures hearts and holds them true for lifetimes. I'll take the gutters of the Florentine streets to the ravishing Trevi fountain because even these smell of metaphorical roses.
Oh Firenze ti amo!! Grazie per il tuo spirito bello. Read More