When I meet someone who is obviously not born and bred in America, I like to talk to them and ask them more questions than they probably care to answer.
Maybe it’s because I am one of them.
Doing so creates a sense of connection for me.
At any rate, I was recently in a Lyft and the driver had a thick Indian accent. I asked him where he was from.
“I was born in Bhutan, and grew up in Nepal,” he replied.
My ears perked up as those are two countries very high on my bucket list. I have not been, but somehow feel a sense of belonging in that part of the world (I have been asked if I am Assamese!).
We chatted a while, exchanging our coming to the U.S. stories. He used to live in Hawaii, he said, then in Georgia.
But he moved to Ohio to be with his family.
Of course, the conversation flowed to food. I happen to enjoy Nepalese food, although I am no expert. I had gone to a couple of Nepalese places in Columbus. It’s quite close to Indian food, but also different. It’s lighter, and definitely delicious.
I asked him for his recommendation: “Where’s your favorite place for Nepalese food around here?”
He paused, looked through the rear view mirror to make an eye contact with me in the back seat, and said:
“Home. That’s my favorite place to eat Nepalese food.”
My heart melted.
Of course it’s home where he finds his favorite food.
“My mother cooks everyday,” he said and told me the different dishes she makes from scratch.
I agree with him: home cooked food tastes better, especially when it’s made with love. Food, with family, nourishes and nurtures. It is fuel and it is love.
I am so glad to have asked him that question because he reminded me the importance of home cooked food for me as well. My mind went back to all the childhood days in my grandmother’s kitchen in Thailand.
Just thinking about those memories brought about feelings of home and being loved. I didn’t need to eat anything to feel it.
It’s the thoughts from my memories that created those wonderful feelings.
Before I left his car, he added: “By the way, I also like Subway.”
I laughed out loud. Of course he does. He’s in America, after all.