“Come to dinner and bring your wife”

The Opposite of McDonald’s

In about two hours we’ll be knocking on an unknown door saying, “Hello, here we are!  What’s for dinner?”

An East Indian fellow will open the door and smile at us before inviting us in.

We’ll meet his wife who will probably be tired from cooking East Indian food, wondering who the heck her husband invited for dinner this time.

An elementary aged boy will peer up at us, or maybe he won’t care about us at all, preferring to play computer games, or whatever elementary boys do these days.

Barry will interview the fine fellow for our local newspaper, a transplant from the heart of India, someone who spends his vacations working with his family’s charitable organization, perhaps saving orphans.  We shall know more after we eat dal or rice or curry.

I will eye the wife with interest, wondering who is she?  Who is she behind the social masks we all wear?  Does she like living in the United States?  What doesn’t she like about it?  Does she wish she lived in India?

We shall sip our tea–or whatever they serve us–and Barry shall take his notes–either before or after or during the meal–and we shall ponder orphans and try to find what connects us, what makes our spirits sing together, and perhaps we’ll feel the world is a bit smaller after our ghee or momos or Thukpa (I googled, dear friends, because who has a clue what one shall eat for dinner in two hours?) and I will probably not bring my camera because it’s too intimidating and I am only the wife, not the interviewer, and gosh darn, dear reader, when’s the last time you’ve eaten international foods at a stranger’s home only to discover there are no strangers, only friends you have not yet met?

P.S.  Sonali, my dear reader-friend from India, I wish you could be with us tonight.  I am thinking of you…

Bridges between worlds

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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68 Responses to “Come to dinner and bring your wife”

  1. Sounds interesting. Indian food is delish, so I’ll bet it’s good!

  2. susan blake says:

    Lucky you! I love Indian food! I’ll admit I haven’t a clue what most of it is though. Decades ago I met a family from Turkey – like you, had no idea what to expect. Lovely cakes and turkish coffee, which I discovered has grounds on the bottom of the cup. I didn’t know whether I had to consume those or what. Only one in the group spoke English at all so we did a lot of smiling and nodding at one another.

    Then when my son was in Iraq, my Iraqi neighbors had us over for dinner – and we had them – several times. Fortunately they were not fond of Sadam, but they did have a lot of family over there yet. We were both on Oprah together, along with my military family support group. I put the bug in Oprah’s ear about finding Sausan’s (seriously, we had almost the same name) family. She did – and made a whole show of it. Kinda cool.

    Anyway, that’s what this post did – dug up some memories!
    hugs
    SuZen

    • Kathy says:

      Really? You were famous on Oprah over this? How COOL, SuZen! Did you write a blog about it? If you did, please share a link. When we get to San Diego for the wedding very soon we’re going to be doing a lot of smiling and nodding with our South Korean in-laws. We met them a year or two ago and we liked them–but it’s hard to communicate when you speak different languages. A good way to bond is over food, isn’t it?

  3. Brenda Hardie says:

    Have fun getting to know your new friends and trying out new foods. I’ve had Indian food once…it was good but very spicy! A college classmate was from Sri Lanka and one day brought several dishes for us to try. Everything was spicy but I cannot remember what any of it was by name or even ingredients. I’m sure Indian food isn’t all spicy though. And perhaps Sri Lanka dishes are a bit different from traditional Indian food. I’ll be anxious to hear all about your visit 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, it was very delicious. The potato dish was a tad spicy–she kept apologizing–but we liked it anyway. I can not remember the name of a single dish we ate. It was very very good. One dish was chicken and rice with a yogurt vegetable sauce over top. Then there was the spinach and lentil dish. And regular rice. And the potatoes. And a crispy chip that looked liked a baked tortilla chip but tasted different. And then sweet dessert. Mmmmm…..

      • Brenda Hardie says:

        I’m so glad you enjoyed the visit and the food 🙂 I remember lentils too and some curry. Sounds like you and Barry had fun, it’s good to try new things once in awhile. Helps us to grow. ♥

  4. Susan D. says:

    Hope it’s a wonderful new adventure!

  5. Heather says:

    “There are no strangers, only friends you have not yet met.” I just love this. I wish I could view the world more like this, and that others could too. Because I think it might just be true.
    Have a wonderful dinner with new friends!

  6. Lol….I was wondering what you would do if she had hamburgers on the grill, then I see the Mac and Dons sign…..

    Enjoy your evening……

    Kim

    • Kathy says:

      Kim, I must have found those McDonald arches and posted the pic just for you! I’m betting this family doesn’t eat too many American hamburgers. 🙂 It was a most lovely evening. Thank you for the good wishes.

  7. Carol says:

    We will get to hear more, yes?

    • Kathy says:

      That is such a good question, Carol. Not sure if I will write a blog post about this–or not. Am trying very hard to get ready for the wedding. There is lots of information in the comments that I’m replying to if anyone wants to scroll through.

  8. “…only to discover there are no strangers, only friends you have not yet met?”

    yes, Yes, YES!

  9. Val says:

    Hope you’re enjoying yourself. 🙂 The UK is full of Indian restaurants, curries et al have become our ‘national food’ in many ways! Though what we used to think of as curry in the 60s is nothing like real Indian food.

    I’ve Indian friends, most online but one very old friend, from Mumbai, who I’ve known since I was a child.

    • Kathy says:

      Val, it was a really nice evening and these people have done a lot to help orphans and others in India. They are very much evangelic Christians. I liked both of them. Interesting how two cultures (the UK and India) can combine to create something new.

      • Val says:

        Well, there’s ‘history’ between India and Britain… some of it, for the Indians at least, that’s rather uncomfortable.

        • Kathy says:

          Yes, indeed, there is history, isn’t there? Hard to keep in mind all the “history” the world has created. I get sick sometimes thinking about how we treated the Native Americans. But then again I have a little bit of Native American blood, so it gets really mixed up.

          • Val says:

            It must, yes. I have N.A. friends (though not regularly in touch with anyone these days) and remember some of the poverty that still exists that people would talk about, such as the Pine Ridge reservation

  10. Val says:

    PS. Do you know Priya’s blog? If not, you might enjoy her writing. 🙂

    http://weathermewell.wordpress.com/

    • Kathy says:

      Oh she has a lovely blog indeed! I read one of her posts and would like to read more in the future. Will try to remember. this upcoming wedding has me thinking in six different directions at once. Thank you, Val.

  11. John Kuttenberg says:

    Wow, people from France, now people from India, L’Anse is a magnet. It tells you something about how people view our corner of the world.

  12. lisaspiral says:

    I love dropping in on the East Indians, they are so good at hosting (and the food is great.) I think you’re right, over food no one is really a stranger.

  13. Joanne says:

    You know which line of this post I liked the best Kathy? “There are no strangers, only friends you have not yet met”, then I scrolled down, and Laurie had beaten me to saying it! Well, great minds do think alike. 😉 I really will be looking forward to hearing more about your dinner adventure. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Our minds are all thinking the same way, Joanne! I am not sure if I’ll have time to share more about the dinner adventure or not. So much to do to get ready for the wedding–including catching up on reading other’s blogs. I have an entire list of things to do! Suffice it to say, it was a most interesting AND delicious evening.

  14. Sybil says:

    Can’t wait to hear how it went.

    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, gosh, everyone is going to want to know how it went and here I am trying to cross of things on my list in order to get ready for the San Diego wedding. We shall see. In the meantime, feel free to read all my responses to the comments. Probably most of the details are in there. lol!

  15. Karen says:

    What better way to get to know someone than over food. I’m sure it was delicious.

    • Kathy says:

      It was very delicious, Karen, and I left their house thinking it’s such a small world. And how amazing to think that there are people living in our small town who are culturally still totally immersed in connections with other places around the world. Barry is writing the article for the paper now.

  16. Elisa's Spot says:

    PIZZA!!!! (and there goes another one POP!!)

  17. sonali says:

    I’m SO glad you thought of me while you relished the Indian food. You surely deserve a treat, how about an Indian meal cooked by me? Would you love to join me for dinner tonight? I’ve made dal & rice & gobi (cauliflower) 🙂

    Right now, I’m feeling the happiest of all the times. You are so special to me! Knowing someone across the oceans keeps me in mind, what more can I expect?

    Did you have any Indian sweet after the meal?

    • Kathy says:

      Sonali, I would SO love an Indian meal cooked by you! And so would Barry. Could you get over here by dinner? Please! And yes–that’s exactly what we had after the dinner. It was just called a “sweet”. It was very delicious and made with ghee, I think. So glad that you are happy! Me, too!

  18. Stacy Lyn says:

    I like the idea that they are not strangers, only friends you have not yet met. ❤

  19. We’ve had this experience – a lovely one, by the way – when my wife’s Chinese coworker invited us for dinner. Their sweet little daughters had nicknamed each other Knife, Blade, and… something else I can’t recall. I can’t imagine anything on an Indian table being anything but fabulous, and trust you had a great evening.

    • Kathy says:

      What funny nicknames, Sid! I love it, how sweet. We did have a most delicious dinner and the company was wonderful, too. Will soon be together with our son’s Korean in-laws. Can’t wait!

  20. Colleen says:

    Visiting India is very high on my wish list. Your meal sounds wonderful and deliciously familiar. We have had the pleasure of spending many evenings like this with friends who have become like family over the years. How nice for you and Barry, getting to meet these lovely folks and being welcomed into their home.

    And have a wonderful time in San Diego. Such a special and joyous occasion, so excited for all of you 🙂

  21. Phil Lanoue says:

    Sounds like it was a great evening! I love spicy food!

  22. Dawn says:

    Very very wonderful! I KNEW you’d have a good time! Isn’t it great to expand our worlds by letting other people into them? So much fun.

    • Kathy says:

      I thought we’d have a good time, too, Dawn. Did you ever attend the Parade of Nations in Houghton, or didn’t they have that when you lived here? It’s a multi-cultural celebration that ends with foods from all over the world down in Dee Stadium. Must attend one of these years.

  23. Goodness, I love Indian food–and, I’m afraid, I haven’t eaten the real thing since I was in New Delhi 2 years ago. The stuff we get here in Lexingon doesn’t count. Great post, Kathy. It reminds me a bit of the international Thanksgiving dinner we hosted in Port-au-Prince.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Kathy says:

      I would love to visit New Delhi, Kath! That sounds wonderful. And so does that international Thanksgiving dinner. You’ve lived an amazing life in many amazing places. I am glad you share it with us.

  24. Reggie says:

    I think Indian food smells diviiine, Kathy. Curry often smells so delicious, with that hot warming-your-belly aroma… But I don’t like *eating* curry or spicy dishes at all – a sensitive tummy I have. 😉 Apparently, not all Indian dishes are hot-spicy though.

    I think that, the next time you are invited for supper with your new friends (I too love that phrase, by the way, about meeting new friends!), you should bring along your camera, and ask whether you could take some photos? No doubt, her dishes will look most photogenic! Or do you think she’ll think of you as rather odd if you whip out your camera, Kathy? 😉

    • Kathy says:

      It does smell soooo good, Reggie! I am sorry to hear about your sensitive tummy. You probably don’t get along well with Mexican food either, do you? I like mild-hot food. I will consider bringing the camera if we’re invited a second time. It did feel really odd to do that on first acquaintance, though. Maybe she’d be honored that the food was being photographed though!

      • Reggie says:

        Yes, exactly, I would be honoured if someone was so impressed by my cooking that they wanted to take photos of it! 😉

        And no, I’m not much of a fan of Mexican food either… 😦 If it’s too hot/spicy, then I can’t *taste* the food…

  25. dearrosie says:

    I love Indian food. The meal sounds delicious.

    Funny that you thought you could just write a post telling us you were going to go to an Indian dinner and we your readers would be satisfied with not knowing what you ate or what you did? From the comments I can see that we’re an inquisitive bunch.

    • Kathy says:

      I am smiling at your comment, Rosie! I so love to tell a story…who cares what REALLY happened? LOL! If you read through all the comments you’ll be able to eek out the answer as to what happened during the evening. I figure you’re not only an inquisitive bunch–you also like mysteries, right?

  26. Munira says:

    Aha! You like Southeast Asian food! That means you would have enjoyed lunch at my place today….I made daal chawal, with achaar, fried crispy onions and pickled veggies…..perfect recipe for zombie-like afternoon siesta! 😀

  27. I love Indian food, and Tai food, and Phillippino food…almost any kind, actually! How wonderful to experience such a culinary adventure and meet new friends for the first time. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Withershins, I think the best part of going to the city is being able to eat all these wonderful foods. It was a lovely evening. Next time we get invited I’ll ask if all my blog friends can come too. 🙂

  28. Kathy says:

    If anyone is still reading the comments–I must say that the “Golden Arches” annoys me every time I look at this post!! What WAS I thinking? LOL…

  29. Robin says:

    I haven’t checked your comments, and know I’m very far behind, but I bet you had a wonderful time. Last year M and I were invited to the home of an Indian colleague of his whose parents were visiting the U.S. for the first time. It was a bizarre brunch as it took place over Ramadan and they are Muslims. The Colleague served us brunch, and we were the only people eating! You might think that is an uncomfortable situation yet we left there feeling not only well fed (stuffed with excellent, spicy, Indian food), but we’d had a good time. We’ve gotten together with The Colleague a couple of more times, and I always enjoy his company (and his fascinating stories!).

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, you must be VERY caught up now (since I took more than a week off, and am not coming back to blog quite yet.) How funny that you guys attended that brunch and ended up eating alone! It does seem like it would be a somewhat awkward situation. Barry went back to work today and I can’t wait to see if our Indian host liked the article that he wrote.

      • Kathy says:

        I meant you must be very caught up here at Lake Superior Spirit. Heavens, we’re always behind in the blog-reading world, aren’t we? I admire those who keep up with every post immediately.

  30. Pingback: When a stranger returns your purse | Lake Superior Spirit

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