When canvas bags double up as a hankie!

I found this, I wrote it when I was in Singapore. I thought I´d share it with you…

I´ve been living PALL 6 years & I can honestly say this is the first (& I hope the last) time this ever happens.

I´m new to Singapore and was visiting the city area to go to a photography exhibition, when I stumbled across a genuine India restaurant. (stumbled being the appropriate word, as I have a foot injury so barely walked in months.)

I joined the que of Indians and was the only female in the place, but I got use to that when I recently traveled in India.

I chose what I thought was a potato & bean curry. I sat at the front far away from the counter as possible to watch the rain.

I full heartedly tucked in. Those beans were chills, really fucking hot chilies!!! My eyes were streaming, my nose was running I was burning up. I wanted to get a tissue but that meant going to the front, passing the que of staring men. I rummaged around my bag, no tissues… just a canvas bag. I thought about it… but then I did it, I blew my streaming nose on my canvas bag.

Pretty gross! But I was glad I had it, if I hadn´t had a bag I might have ended up blowing it on my hand bag. Luckily I didn´t shop that day and put it in the wash when I got back.

I think it´s time to get a hankie. I also need to learn the difference between beans and chilies.

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Take away in a Tiffin

Oh the luxury of a take away. It’s been a very long time since I’ve lived near any take aways. So they didn’t really cross my mind. Except of course on a hangover day, where we’d dream long and hard of them. Still, there wasn’t any, so dreaming was all we did… hung over. Oh the pain!

When I’m visiting my Sister’s we usually have one. They’re partial to a take away, they have delivery where they are. Indian brought straight to the door. (I guess there’s many others, pizza, Chinese, who knows what else? It’s always been Indian for us.) Indian, to the door. Who can argue?

Except, oh the plastic that goes with takeaway and delivery’s. Sometimes they are still delivered in metal trays, but often now the whole meal can be in small plastic trays. Which yes can be used again, but all those millions of plastic trays going out over the whole country, the world constantly… Even the metal tray ones have pickles in plastic, breads in plastic, and then of course the whole lot is put in a plastic bag (normally over a paper bag).

So imagine how pleased I was on my third day of arriving in Bristol, having that hung over Indian takeaway feeling… to discover I can get one a few minutes walk away in a metal tiffin!

For you who are not aware what a tiffin is it’s a kind of lunch box used widely in India for tiffin meals for over 100 years. Yes over 100 years! It´s not a new concept. In Mumbai, tiffins are used to provide the invaluable daily service of speedily delivering piping hot home-cooked lunches to more than 200,000 busy office workers. 200,00 a day. That´s a staggering amount. Tiffin´s work!

Normally they come in two or three tiers, although more elaborate versions can have four. The bottom-most tier, being the largest, is the one usually used for rice. Tiffin carriers are opened by unlocking a small catch on either side of the handle.

The Thali, Café had the bright idea of a tiffin take away in 2000. That’s 15 years ago, that’s a lot of take aways!

Imagine the heaps of plastic the restaurant – now restaurant’s – must have saved in that time?  Incredible amounts of plastic pollution prevented. That’s my kinda place!

Thali Café call it: The Tiffin Revolution.

You take along your tiffin and they fill it with the delicious meal of your choice. Tried and tested, they are very tasty! (I’m a few minutes walk away, I don’t need to think about delivery, that would be taking lazy to another extreme!) They do a lovely Chai, which is what I’ve had when I wait (yes twice, even though I’ve been here just over a week..)

Opens into little dishes
Opens into little dishes

The first time it costs £27.50 and comes filled with your favourite Thali. After that they are £8.50 to refill.

I can hear the groans about the expense. (You can buy them a couple of doors up from the one in Easton for just £8.00).  Money wise is give and take when Being PALL. I’d of probably spent £8 in a month, just on bottled water alone. So £8.00 for something that’s going to last forever, can be shared with friends and have countless Indian take aways in with no plastic footprint, for me, is well and truly justified. I´m not buying one as it´s daft having two in the house, otherwise I would.

The downside of the Thali restaurant is the lack of vegetarian options. I can’t see me wanting to eat the same two meals time and time again. So I’m also going to try other local restaurants and see if they’ll fill it… I’ll let you know. Hopefully not to soon, to many takeaways is probably not a good idea for my waistline, and my wallet!

It’s such a simple and effect idea. Maybe if you’re a regular of an Indian take away chat to them, the more joining the Tiffin Revolution the more plastic pollution we can prevent. Hopefully they´ll be pleased to have their tiffing tradition being appreciated and used here, as much as their food is loved and appreciated!

Good on Thali Café for bringing this concept to Bristol. I’m pleased as punch to be living so close and to be able to be part of it the Tiffin Revolution.  Hang overs will be slightly easier from now on… I hope!

Every refusal adds up. Happy Indian take aways. Happy Tiffins!

New city, new challenge!

My personal circumstances changed, so while I was in Singapore I scratched my head – a lot – as what to do next. After 8 years away, mainly living in Portugal I´ve moved “back” to England. Though it isn´t back, as I´ve moved to a new and exciting city!

It´s mind boggling, totally mind boggling. After so long how will it be live in England again? I need to get a job, fast! I need to get back in the swing of house sharing (to flush or not to flush in the middle of the night?!) to find my way around, the city and the surrounding area. To get used to being on a bike again. I´m loving cycling around, but currently my bum is not (ouch, it´s hard to actually sit and type!)

…and to get into the swing of living in the busy & vibrant city of Bristol!

Moving to Bristol has been a leap of faith. Having only visited in a few times in a tourist sense, there are many reasons I´ve decided to take the chance and actually live here. From what I´ve heard and from what I´ve seen so far, it´s an incredible place.

I´ve been here nearly a week, and it´s been a serious case of culture shock, due to the sheer amount of culture! It´s daunting, more so I guess as I know I´m moving, rather than just visiting. Thankfully I´m staying with a friend, and her & her housemate have welcomed me in.

Of course moving to a new city would have it´s challenges for anyone, but I also have the added challenge of finding new places and ways to be PALL – Plastic A Lot Less. I really want to live as plastic free as possible here, and hope to find things I haven´t in the past. Loose spices, nuts, pulses etc. Plastic free takeaways, other people doing similar things. Will it be possible?

Bristol has just won European Green City, so I´m hoping if I can do it anywhere, I can do it here!

I shall let you know how I get on. In the meantime if you don´t know the city, here´s a glimpse of some of the amazing artwork I´ve seen just wondering around these last few days… I am blown away. It seams ever corner I turn has another surprise in store!