Sunday, May 06, 2007
Roberta, shown smiling with Leela helping her pack, left early Saturday morning after we had a lovely Shabbat dinner with our new friends Jon and Lindy, Janet, and Shael and Mohan. Jon, who is a rabbi studying for his Ph.D. in Jewish Ethics, even made challah and brought some study materials on Parshat Emor, the week's reading from the Book of Leviticus.
It will seem strange not having Roberta here---and she was sad to leave as well. Thanks to her, my social life picked up considerably, as she is much more outgoing and gregarious than I tend to be. And it was great to get to really know her--we seem to enjoy a lot of the same things ( on a number of occasions one or the other of us remarked we were doing something that Marty, much as we missed him, would NOT enjoy!)
The challah making is a story in itself. There is no standard white flour in India (at least not in Chennai), and maida, the Indian version, does not work because it has no husk at all ground in--it is superfine. Jon had to go buy the wheat and then have it ground---essentially making his bread a completely whole wheat version (healthy and delicious, but it didn't rise as much as he would have liked). Suppose you could combine with a bit of maida, but how much? Anyway, the challah was roundly pronounced as a vast improvement over that supplied by the Taj a couple of weeks ago when we had our first Shabbat gathering.
Earlier in the week I was in Bangkok and Koh Samui. I went to Samui because I had heard it was good for snorkeling, but the snorkeling trip I went on was a disappointment. Really not much to see, and if you are looking for the world's great snorkeling spots, Samui isn't one of them. Otherwise, it was relaxing and a nice break---though it did rain while I was there.
Tonight I am going to the Madras Hash---this is a part exercise, part fun event which occurs regularly here. I have not been to one before, but it is supposed to be great fun. "Hares" stake out a trail which everyone is supposed to follow, with twists and turns to throw you off--followed by beer and munchies.