Welcome to Hyderabad, India

Allison Lambourne is a student at Arizona State Univerity and an ISA Featured Blogger. Allison is currently studying abroad in Hyderabad, India on the ISA Summer 1 program.

First chicken biryani. A Hyderabad-speciality spicy rice dish.

First bite is shockingly spicy (to my white girl taste buds). Each consecutive one becomes more mild, but the cumulative total begins to catch up with me. I am about done with my meal, when I ask my friend (we’ll call her Friend 1) if I can have some of the vegetables from her vegetarian biryani. Friend 1 and I are both on a journey to increase our spice tolerance, and have been commenting on the spiciness of our respective meals.

The green bean I take is sliced in half and has rice stuck inside, which I notice as odd. The bite is immediately blazingly spicy. My mouth is on fire, but I try to downplay it, as I’m so spice sensitive anyways. But my reaction causes the other two people at the table (Friend 2 and Friend 3) to also try Friend 1’s meal – to which they reply that it’s not even that spicy. So, then of course I try to keep a straight face through the burning sensation. It only half works, but it’s effort that counts, right? I try to rationalize it (in my head) that my vegetable bite must have had a pocket of spice.

Sinus-clearing, eyes-watering, cells dying, lingering for 15 minutes pocket of spice.

As the meal is winding down (my mouth is still blazing), Friend 2 decides to eat some of Friend 1’s vegetarian biryani. After her own spicy, light your mouth on fire bite, she comments on the culprit green-bean-look-alike: a green pepper.

GREEN PEPPER ≠ green bean

Oh. Right.

The sliced in half should have been the give-away. But, at least I know I can (barely) survive eating a full bite of a spicy green pepper. That’s my white girl in Hyderabad, India update for now. I’m learning a lot.

When in India….

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