7 food habits you are likely to pick up living in Asia as expat

Asia has always been one of the most fascinating travel destinations and recently it has become one of the biggest hubs of expatriation.

And according to the Annual Expat Explorer survey, currently Asia is the leading destination for expat quality of life and overall satisfaction. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, now it’s confirmed – expats moving to Asia are the happiest.

Undoubtedly, one of the reasons, expats are happier in Asia is its variety of unusual exotic experiences and drastic cultural differences that allow you to explore more.

One of the major pillars of such cultural experiences in Asia is its food.

Rich, colorful, with striking contrast across regions and counties, but similar in its nature, Asian food is an adventure in itself.

And if, going as a tourist, you may not get to fully enjoy it and understand it, as expat you have better chances to do so.

Not all expats choose to adapt to local cuisines, some stick to their well-known food palette, but if you do get to like food in Asia, living there for a while, you may find yourself having a few new specific patterns when it comes to food choices.

I have listed below some of the food habits you are likely to pick up, being expat in Asia:

  • Eating a lot of rice
  • Well, this one doesn’t exactly require an explanation. Rice and dishes cooked with it is a foundation of all Asian food, region irrespective.

    Rice is everything in this area. You will not only get to enjoy it as a side dish, but can taste cakes and pastries, buns and milk made out of it.

    My personal preference here has always been Thai rice and Vietnamese one, but rice game is very strong in any country in Asia.

  • Drinking very sweet coffee
  • Well, that one is especially relevant for places like India, Thailand and Vietnam.

    Vietnamese coffee

    First one prefers a very mild sweet coffee with a lot of milk, whereas the famous Vietnamese coffee is a very strong blend served on the pillow of condensed milk.

  • Having tea. More tea. And then something tea flavoured.
  • Probably the most famous trait of Asia is its love for tea.

    Milk tea with spices in India, Green tea in Vietnam and Hong Kong, Oolung and White tea in China, Thai Iced tea etc etc

    Again, one of the cult products, which is not only drank, but consumed in forms of pastries and sweets, ice-creams and buns.

  • Spicing it up
  • Spices - a vast universe, an Asian specialty, opened to the rest of the world by travelers, traders and invaders long time back.

    India spices, in particular Garam masala, are generally the most acknowledged and the most radical to your taste buds.

    Indian spices market

    Getting used to them means you will never be able to eat not-so-spicy food again. Needless to say, after India, every other cuisine will seem not-so-spicy.

    Korean kimchi mix, Vietnamese and Thai spices are following India with sweetness, ginger, clove and cardamom being predominant in the spicy palette. Nutmeg, clove and coriander are in the lead roles in Singapore.

  • Fruity life
  • Because why not? Fruits in most Asian countries are ridiculously cheap, fascinatingly exotic and naturally fresh. You are not restricted by seasons as throughout the year you will get one or the other fruity indulgence.

  • Coconut
  • A mother of exotic cuisine and a symbol of tropical life, this fruit is consumed in astonishing quantities, be it in a curry, in spices or in sweets. Just looking at it always made me feel like vacation and being expat in India for many years I can proudly say that this vacation is now a part of my staple diet.

  • All that curry
  • Thai, Indian, Chinese, Korean, Malaysian…every region has its traditional curry and living there is bound to make you develop an addiction to this filling aromatic food, which main ingredient unsurprisingly is curry leaf.

    In the end, whether you do adjust to Asian food or prefer to stick to your native one, but living in Asia will always leave a delicious and exotic mark on your food choices. It’s a part of mystical influence this region holds over those visiting it. And if you haven’t yet - pack your bags and go on your foodie adventure.

    Disclaimer: All pictures in the blog are intellectual property of the author and cannot be used or copied without written permission.

    10 Reasons why India is the best place for Creative Photography

    Disclaimer: All pictures in the blog are taken by the author and are intellectual property of the author. It cannot be used or copied without written permission. For more fine art photography see Instagram and Facebook accounts.

    As a fine art photographer (or any kind of photographer for that matter), your search for inspiration never ends. You skin is so thin that every breeze leaves a mark and your mind so hungry that every thought starts a feast.

    And in this constant search, the place you are at, can become a biggest pool of ideas.

    For me, India is such place and I have 10 reasons why every photographer should visit India once.

  • The frames - India’s architecture
  • From grand forts to charming havelis to small streets that breathe history – India has it all to send you on a journey of inspiration through exploration

  • The idea - India’s spirituality
  • Inspiration and ideas, though triggered by outside are born inside – it blooms like a flower when our thoughts and spirit find good soil.

  • The message - India’s challenge
  • Not everything is beauty around. And photography exists to depict all aspects of world – inner and outer world. Sometimes the most painful struggles shown through pictures can help dragging people’s attention to those in need of help, even if it’s us ourselves.

    India will show you all you want to explore through the everyday struggles you get to observe and through everyday challenges you throw on yourself.

  • The depth - India’s diversity
  • Yin and yang, happiness and sadness, beauty and ugliness. And both of them within each other – you can be sure to see the true diversity of life here.

  • The setting - India’s landscape
  • You haven’t been inspired if you have never visited mighty wise Himalayas. Or had your breath been stolen away by clouds passing over tea plantations of Munnar. Any magical scenery you can imagine – India has it all.

  • The story - India’s history
  • Walking amidst the ruins of ancient civilizations is indeed a photographer’s abode.

  • The feeling - India’s Sun
  • A very special Indian sun – which will burn you if you fight it, but will show you tenderness if you let it in.

  • The feeling - India’s Rain
  • Have you heard of monsoon season in India? The one that’s called the most romantic time of the year. Time of artists and poets. Time of love affairs.

  • The context - Indian culture
  • No, not the one that promotes male dominance and suppression of self. But the one that welcomes you as a guest, loves you as equal and unveils like kaleidoscope of colors in front of you.

  • The people
  • For me personally, faces have been fascinating throughout my journey as a photographer. And if it is for you too – then India with its gorgeous glorious faces – is the right choice.

    A comprehensive dictionary - main words you need to know in India

    Disclaimer: All pictures in the blog are intellectual property of the author and cannot be used or copied without written permission.

    India is a country of many languages. In one city most of the population will speak at least two languages (and not always one of them is English) - and they will differ from family to family and from person to person.

    Although a lot of people in big cities (most of middle and upper class) speak good English, if you are going to a local place, taking a rickshaw or shop in small stores, there are some expressions in Hindi that may come in handy.

    Disclaimer: Not all places in India are Hindi-speaking! Going to South, better use English, as most South Indians speak only their local languages, depending on location (Tullu, Telugu, Tamil etc) and speaking Hindi there will be less effective than sign language.

    Below I have made a short compilation of useful words/phrases according to situations and their translation.

    When meeting new people: 
    Namaste - Hello (needed to note that the actual meaning and significance of this word is much deeper than simple “hello”. It is a greeting with respect, catering to a deeper level. Its meaning is “my soul recognizes yours and greets it”). It’s pretty safe to say that Hello in English will be understood in any language, but I suggest Namaste - out of respect.
    Shukriya - Thank you
    Mera naam …. hai (Mera nam Viktoria hai) - My name is …

    When wandering around:
    Kis taraf … hai? (Kis taraf consulate hai?) - Which direction … is (Which direction is the consulate?)
    ….kidhar hai? (Hotel kidhar hai?) - Where is….
    Kitna time lagega? - How much time will it take?

    While shopping: 
    Kitna? - How much?  (Kitna hua - How much will it cost?)
    Jhoot mat bolo - Don’t lie
    Sach bol - Tell the truth (Say honestly)
    Nahi chahiye - I don’t want (it)
    Mujhe … chahiye (Mujhe lassi chahiye) - I want…. (I want lassi)
    Yeh wala - This one

    When taking a rickshaw/taxi:

    Aage - Ahead
    Seeda - Straight (go straight)
    Left/right lena - Take left/right
    Peeche jao - Go back side

    Vapas jao - Go back
    Ruko - Wait
    Punch minute rukna padega – Need to wait for 5 minutes

    Bus – enough/stop

    When with friends (;P) : 
    Chutiya – that’s a unique word which meaning is as vast as your emotions – it can be a lovingly implying that person is an idiot to hatefully screaming on someone for being an asshole. If you are striving to impress – the best usage of Chutiya will be in expression “Aap chutiya hai” (this phrase has become one of the witties sarcastic abuses, getting popular after a TV personality dropped it on live show).
    Bhenchod - sisterfucker – only use on close asshole friends as it is considered very rude

    Madarchod - motherfucker – the most offensive one. Only to use if you are in rage, but  better avoid as it provokes rage in return

    Bhosdike – implies that you are coming from that female organ which is usually described by kitties ( ;) ). Funnily, not that insulting.
    Harami – bastard

    Disclaimer: In India, people prefer English abuses to Hindi ones (at least in public and sober) because it’s considered more “neat” and “high class”. On which I call bullshit.

    So far, I haven’t come across abuses that are so emotional and on-point when you say it, as Hindi abuses. It’s like “straight from the heart” (or whatever is that abuses are coming from).

    Also, in India girls abusing are frowned upon. But I say – stop discrimination. You wanna abuse – You go girl!

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