I got a preview of the doctor’s life to come. Call it the first taste of Red Mango joy or the first dip in the Caribbean. The former I did when frozen yogurt waged a blizzard across Manhattan and beyond; the latter I have yet to do… I ate high-class meals suited for a monarch, I drank tonic smoothies and milk shakes that chilled me from the inside out (in a good way because it was so hot), and I went on back-to-back weekend excursions that even Malibu beach models wannabe idols will envy.
Standard of living in Asian countries is much less than that of the United States. Hence, what was ‘expensive’ in India was actually cheap and affordable in US dollars. I had every reason to spend a little extra and enjoy myself before I become a slave to medicine. Well, not exactly tethered to medicine, because I will be looking for a specialty suited to my needs and wants. It’s called a lifestyle job for a reason.
Speaking of lifestyle, I absolutely shaved the surface of what it will be like to live like a doctor. I met some amazing doctors at work who practically bombarded me with places to see: Kovalem, Varkala, Neyyar Dam, Kottoor, Alleppey, Munnar, Veli Lake, … and many other places I can’t spell for life. One head & neck radiation-oncologist suggested we visit Leela, a resort at Kovalem Beach. He goes there once or twice a year for family vacations. If a doctor chills out at a high-class resort like beautiful place on a cliff, then it’s definitely worth the splurge. A tropical scene indeed! You know those advertisements and commercials that lure you to the aquamarine waters of Bermuda (if you avoid the triangle that is) or the Australian coral reefs? Yeah, I experienced that. Not the coral reefs or Caribbean waters exactly, but as close to summer tropical paradise as I can imagine while abroad. A couple of bumming medical students wandered into the Leela Wonderland, with its spacious entrance, squeaky clean floors and decor, and seaside view. It was a tropical dream come true. It was a surreal moment to walk through a rich man’s world.
Then we also wandered into another resort called Turtle. How cute! Our 15 minutes of experiencing the rich tourist’s life got documented with the following sneak shots…
On my weekend excursions, I committed one of the seven sins: Gluttony. I consumed meals befitting the Queen of England made by an Indian version of chef Morimoto for the price of a Subway footlong, or perhaps even less. Start drooling now. My stomach’s already revolting before I even start writing and unleashing the colorful array of food pictures… You know, pictures are everlasting. That’s why I take pictures of (almost) everything I eat or cook. Or it’s just an Asian thing (blame my Asian friends for starting up this habit of mine now). Once you eat something absolutely splendid and heavenly, the moment is transient. Plus, the food gets digested and excreted. Hence, food isn’t forever, but pictures capture the moment and nurtures the memory.
* At Leo’s Restaurant, Kovalem Beach: Fish Moilee w/Coconut Curry Milk Sauce & Sear Fish Steak Tandoori and ‘Chips
Same evening, at Fusion, Kovalem Beach, where East Meets West: I ate Rasam soup (tomatoes, onions, coriander with a tang of citrus), while my friend suffered through a disappointing ‘prawn’ soup (only two small pieces…)
* At Cafe del Mar, Varkala Beach: Very hoppin’ with the European tourists. We came here twice, for the food and the life!
Oh man, I just made myself hungry and it’s almost midnight…