~ Paradise India: Where the Doctor’s Dough At ~

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.

The resort entrance

FINALLY, some peace and quiet!

Chess anyone? Sorcerer's Stone style?

This was what I stumbled into... Look how it SHINES...


The Bar...

King Fisher Beer for 100 Rs (~ $2)

Downhill and Out

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

The sunny seaside view from the lunch table

The table

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…)

The Menu

 * At Cafe de La Mer, Kovalem Beach:  Vegetable Sizzler… Oh my, look at that steam and heat!

*At Trattoria Oriental Food, Varkala Beach:  Had to eat Asian again! Literally, the Taste of Paradise. What can be better than this view…

Strawberry/Banana Smoothie and the Trattoria Special w/ Rum, Pineapple Juice, Mashed Banana and Cream

Kang Khiew Wan: spicy green herb curry with chicken and of course, RICE

Homemade Pasta Lasagna with 'Fungi' and Seafood... Specially made for us!

Indian Masala Chai with Cardamom flavor... Milky and Tasty!

* At Cafe del Mar, Varkala Beach:  Very hoppin’ with the European tourists. We came here twice, for the food and the life!

Hot Tea

French Pepper Steak

Risotto al Zafferano: saffron, seafood, light cream sauce... and many other goodies... scrumptious!

Lemon Tarte

Gotta Do Italian Lasagna again...

Grilled Snapper

Oh man, I just made myself hungry and it’s almost midnight…


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