17/100 Bombay in Berkeley

After getting a little lost in the city, we took a trip from bart station on Embarcadero to North Berkeley. The metal sound under water was a bit haunting, but later it would all be worth it.

Took an uber to Sari Palace. Went upstairs to the Churdar and saw so many colors. It was an art experience, to see all of the bangles and dangles, gold filled embroidery, the skirts, dresses…I am a size 40 in an Indian clothing store. I will remember that.

There were two interracial couples who were getting ready for guests attire for weddings. They didn’t seem as hooked as I was…

After a few awkward trying on this and that, I decided on the red. Next time, I want a light blue color. It was not done. The aunties also sew on the sleeves and get it altered. Then it was time for the jewerly. So much jewerly. In all sorts of colors…more people should get into it! Traditional shopping won’t be as fun anymore.

Walking along the little Bombay street filled with Saree places, Indian markets and street food scents, having seen people I would see in traditional SF style outfits in line for some taste of home, I felt a sense of community as a first-generation American in the bay area. Although we come to the States for opportunity and may have similar jobs in the tech industry, once you peel this one layer, we are people of long history, culture and great food. I felt one step closer to the folks in the city, and Bay area felt a bit warmer. More homely in a way. A big thanks to my company who introduced me to the black hole of Indian spices and snacks…I would take a kachori over an oreo any day.

Then lots of walking through fallen leaves. A scene was mostly college students from Berkeley, and definitely no dog poop everywhere. November sky with sunset colors on the way to Viks Chaat Corner. I ordered a chai and chicken curry thali. The daal was my favorite part. While the food was getting prepared, we shopped for some Indian snacks. The packaging does not do justice. Kachori, Murukku, Laddu, samosas, dahi puri, I didn’t like the vada Pau(for some reason), the roti dipped in curry…even waiting for the bart on the way back to the city, my eyes were glued to the bags filled with snacks.

The playlist Konviction from Akon was playing in the uber. Most ubers in Berkeley tend to be half the price for twice the distance in the city, in bigger, cleaner cars.

I wanted to just eat everything. I will visit India no matter what. Eat everything South Asia has to offer.




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Ahyeon Cho

Ahyeon Cho

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