What do we miss the most during the lockdown in Mumbai?...Mainly food...

Mosques and churches are abundant in Istanbul, Turkey which we visited in June 2013. 
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Today's photos are from June 11, 2013, while in Istanbul, Turkey. See the link here for more photos. Istanbul, Turkey is the only capital city in the world that is located on two separate continents, Europe and Asia.  Tom filled me in on this morsel, history buff that he is.

Today's post topic was suggested by several of our readers when we requested input from our readers on future topics in this post a few days ago. Thank you to so many who've written to us with excellent suggestions which, over time, we'll certainly utilize in future posts, especially while we're still in lockdown in Mumbai, India.

Many inquired as to "What we've missed the most while in lockdown." Mainly, as mentioned in the past, what we eat is a big source of importance, now more than ever. With the long days and nights, mealtime is a pleasant distraction and as a needed source of sustenance and nutrition.
What a view of Istanbul!
Of course, we can't wait for the days when we will be in a new location when we'll be able to go outdoors, sightseeing and visiting points of interest in and surrounding our everyday lives.

I can't wait for those first photos of our "new" grocery store when we'll have the exciting opportunity to shop for our meal preparation while living in a new temporary home. The thought of sharing photos of our new home and surroundings sends shivers up my spine. 
The contrast of old and new is breathtaking in Istanbul.
It's even harder to envision taking photos of sightseeing venues when at this point, it's been three months since we've done so, the same amount of time when we didn't go out and about while I was recovering from open-heart surgery in the bush house in Marloth Park in 2019.

At least during those long three months, Tom was able to take plenty of photos of the visiting wildlife on a daily basis, often accompanied by interesting tidbits suitable for inclusion in the next day's post.
We were able to zoom in on many historic sites from the deck of the ship.
Here, in lockdown, the biggest tidbit of the day might be something like this: last night's Paneer Machkni was obviously made by a different cook using a different recipe and didn't suit my taste. 

Now the question is, "Do I tell them it was awful and hope they use the former recipe or do I stop ordering it entirely?" I don't know. It was a nice break from the grilled chicken breasts night after night with a side a cooked cabbage and spinach, both often too salty even when I've said over and over: "No salt, please." I use salt but over-salting is unpleasant. We have our own Himalayan salt on hand, which I'd prefer to use at my discretion.
Google Maps
Taksim Square where there was political unrest in Istanbul, Turkey, at that time, is across the bridge from the Blue Mosque. The far-left point of the blue line is the Port of Istanbul. The endpoint of the blue line toward the right is the Blue Mosque and an area of most of the tourist attractions, a little too close for comfort by our commitment to safety.
With the language barrier, it's hard to explain changes over the phone. We aren't allowed to meet the cooks in person. When I've tried ordering the one other item I can eat, salmon, the portion is too small to fill me when my sides only consist of the two small portions of vegetables. 

If I ask for more, we'll be charged twice as much and it's just not worth paying INR 1818, US $24, for a 6 ounce, .17 kg,  serving of salmon. What I really need each dinner is a 6 ounce, .17 kg, serving of protein, two non-starchy vegetables, with a side salad. But, it's not safe to eat raw vegetables in India, even in this nice hotel, making a fresh salad out of the question.
Here again, old and new intertwined in Istanbul, Turkey.
Don't get me wrong, the staff at this hotel is great and in no way do I intend to negate the quality of their service or food. But, they are used to serving Indian food, not my low carb way of eating, let alone basis continental cuisine. 

If I could eat the Indian food I would since I do like most of it. But, I don't need to suffer the unpleasant effects of changing my diet. Tom is doing well with his same dinner each night, which doesn't seem to vary much in taste although the portions may vary in size.
We find this French style of architecture not only in parts of the US but also in many other cities throughout the world.
 In a nutshell, we really miss our own homemade meals and yes, a nice big steak would serve us well. Neither of us has had any beef since prior to January 30, 2020, when we left the US to travel to India. 

We knew we wouldn't have any beef in India during the originally planned two months of touring. That was anticipated and not a problem. Now, it has been five months and could be many more months until we can have a bun-less burger, meatloaf, pot roast, roast beef, steaks, or the many other cuts of beef we've regularly enjoyed in the past.
This simple church spire adds to the Istanbul skyline.
Nor, can we have pork here other than Tom's over-cooked or under-cooked bacon each morning, which could include pork chops on the grill, a pork roast, pork tenderloin, and shredded pork, all of which is unavailable.

Even the chicken is different here. They do not serve dark meat as a protein source on a plate that I prefer. The dark meat is used in a variety of Indian dishes while the dry white meat is used to serve chicken as an entree. I've never really cared for chicken breasts unless they were roasted on the bone. 

Each night when I don't order Paneer Mahkni, I get two small chicken breast halves. Fortunately, they aren't as dry as they could be but it's never quite filling enough. An hour or so later, the hunger subsides and I am fine for the evening. Tom's portions are sufficient for him.
The Port of Istanbul where we sit today, a 20-minute walk from the unrest in Taksim Square.
What else do we miss besides food? Fresh outdoor air, shopping, space to move around, everyday household tasks, walking outdoors, happy hour, friends, conversations with others, birds singing, wildlife, flowers blooming, sunsets, trips to the market, and being able to purchase toiletries and odds and ends we need from time to time.

When I take my contacts out at night, I wear those cheap drugstore glasses while reading my phone or playing scrabble. Within a week, both of the "arms" (the part that goes over the ears) broke and there was no way to keep them on while lying on my side in bed. 

Tom broke off the head of a toothbrush provided by the hotel and handed me the handle which I used with an elastic hairband to fashion a new handle. See the photo below. It works. In normal times, I would have gone to a pharmacy to purchase a new pair. But, these are the times of Covid-19. Nothing is the same.
Revised eyeglasses using a toothbrush handle and an elastic hair band.
We manage. We improvise and we continue to have hope eventually all of this will change. Yesterday, Tom asked me, as Covid-19 cases rapidly escalate in India, if we could see ourselves still here a year from now. It's entirely possible, but we're praying, not likely. 

We are anticipating we'll be able to leave in three months, perhaps not to South Africa but some other country, we choose as safe and palatable for our needs and desires. Under no circumstances will we choose a location that we deem to be unsafe in any manner. 

Are we unhappy? Not at all. We laugh, we chat, we tease, and are playful with one another. We analyze the state of our planet, other countries, India, our own country, our former home state of Minnesota, and the progression of the virus, for us, our loved ones, and for the future of the world to come.

May God keep us all healthy and able to withstand the challenges facing each of us, regardless of how big or small they may be. It's all relative.

Be well.
Photo from one year ago today, June 11, 2019:
A calf on a hill overlooking the sea in Connemara, Ireland. For more photos, please click here.


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