Thursday evenings is usually the time I clean the bathroom, clear the fridge, empty the nappy bin and put all the bins out. On the way home from picking my daughter up from Arabic class yesterday, I met my neighbour and her two girls heading out. She told me that a new Indian sweet shop had opened and everything was half price.
The chores beckoned and dinner was cooked with just the chapatti's needing to be made fresh. My mum always told me there was no need for a good Muslimah to be out in the evening without a man, especially before maghrib (the evening prayer).
So I decided to go and take a stroll and see what was on offer. Mum in-law didn't need to be asked twice and was out the door like a shot for someone with knee problems. She invited my neighbour and her daughter on the other side of us to come along.
When we got there, the queue was massive, what we wanted was not half price after all and my kids decided to help themselves to the balloons so that they could breathe in the helium and sound funny.
Here's our haul:
The boxes at the front are papri chaat and samosa chaat - layers of chickpeas, potatoes, tamarind, yoghurt and spices over either a potato samosa or under a layer of crunchy savoury crispy noodles. This kind of food is called "chatpatta" - or dishes that have a spicy hot-and-tangy flavour - usually Indian and Pakistani street food which is utterly irresistible. A person who loves this kind of food is often described using the same word.
I often get the impression that for a woman to be "chatpattee" is not a good thing - wasting money on food that is not home-cooked and often not very healthy. Sounds to me like South Asian culture just doesn't like a woman to enjoy herself and give in to her desires. Being very "chatpattee" and from a family who is just not at all (reserved, disciplined, simple tastes), it something I tend to hide a little. Doesn't mean I can't indulge now and again though.