Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Getting in the (Masala) Zone

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Having heard so much about Masala Zone, I decided to check it out tonight with Chriselle's London-based colleague Ivana. Chriselle had made the cyber introductions between us because she really hit it off with Ivana when she met her in New York a while ago--and I can see why. Ivana is sprightly, bubbly and so cool she rides a bike all over London--even to biz meetings. She rang the doorbell at my Holborn flat at 7 sharp as she had said. (I discovered this evening when both Shanaz and Mukkaram and later Ivana arrived and buzzed me from the main door, that my buzzer does not work. I had to get down to the lobby to let Ivana in.

She loved my place (what's not to love, right?) and envied me royally both for the location and the layout of the flat. Then, we were out the door, walking in the brisk evening air towards Covent Garden. I suggested Masala Zone and she was game, loving Indian food as much as she does. Poor relation to Amaya, Veeraswamy and Chutney Mary, Masala Zone offers "Indian street food" such as chaat but we decided to try the "regular thali". I went for the Karwari Prawn while Ivana chose the Lamb Malai.I realized as I broke the first piece of my chapati that I haven't eaten desi khana for at least a month and I salivated as I sank my fingers into the curry, two sabzis, dal and chutney, and crunched into my papad. Every item was delicious and at under 9 pounds for the lot, I thought it was very good value for money. The chapatis were soft and hot and with the Tiger beers we ordered to wash the meal down, we did very well, I think.

Since the night was young, Ivana suggested we move on to a pub for another drink and in the shadow of the mammoth and very impressive Royal Opera House, we chose the Nag's Head Pub where Ivana suggested I try the Stella lager, a Belgian Beer. Though already stuffed, I managed a bit more beer and conversation without falling asleep for the heavy meal and the drinks had served to lull me into a stupor.

The day had been productive. I went to our Bedford Square campus for a meeting with our IT specialist Lucy Appert who was visiting from our New York campus and who trained me as an administrator for the running of our newly created Economics blog. I got back home to do a fair amount of work on my research project and get ready for my classes tomorrow.

Shahnaz called to say that their move from the Holiday Inn to the hostel at Brunel University where her son Hassan has been admitted was delayed. Our intended walk in Chelsea was cancelled and when Shahnaz and Mukkaram got to my flat with only 20 minutes to spare before the curtain went up on their show (Mamma Mia) at the West End, they literally used the washroom and galloped right out. It was a day of many disasters for them and they were not happy campers.

It's back to class for me tomorrow as I tackle a work load that is embarrassingly light--but I'm not complaining.

Oh, I forgot to mention that my friend and Professor of Victorian Literature Margaret Loose of the University of California at San Diego will be here tomorrow to get some research done at the Rare Books Section of the British Library--so naturally, she got in touch with me via email to tell me of her plans and now I will need to spend some time with her.

I really have to stop meeting all my friends this way!!!

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