True Story: The Engine Of Life

by Matt on October 28, 2010

A true moment from Singapore.

My guide and I just sat down, ready to share an oily, hot roti prata with a side of curry. I can’t say I was starving but the idea of tearing the bread and dipping into the hot brothy liquid excited me beyond belief.

Suddenly a well-dressed man approached our table and began to announce his arrival as if we had been waiting for him for hours. He was animated and spritely, with clear eyes, supple skin and thick pomaded shocks of wavy black hair. Not a strand of gray anywhere.

“My friends! I am Indian, look at my body! Seventy years old I am. These are my real teeth, my own hair, and I owe it all to whole grains, not the oily fat-laden meal you are about to eat. I blame the prata for generations of disease among my people!” he proclaimed with a friendly smile that sat on top of true concern but absolutely no judgement.

“Enjoy your visit and the prata but remember this: you are throwing sand into the engine of life.”

We smiled back, thanked him, and proceeded to weigh our engines down with enough sand, grease, and oil to stall a motorcade.

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October 28, 2010 at 11:50 am

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Mikel October 28, 2010 at 11:51 am

Funny story, though I just can’t stand when people give unwanted advice. LoL


CopyKat Recipes October 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm

People are always ready to dispense their advice. Now maybe he had a point, but I don’t think you should go up to someone and share their personal thoughts on dining!

Luis London October 28, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I love the way you told the story, I felt like reading a book, …now I am want more.

Matt October 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I completely agree! It was so humorous that I didn’t mind it and I also happen to love whole grains. What can ya do….. ;)

Tracy October 28, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Doesn’t sound intimidating, it was actually hilarious. If this happens to me, i would my burst into laughter the moment the guy turned around=)

Phoo-D October 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm

That sounds similar to the people who eat 10% fewer calories than the daily recommended level and supposedly live several years longer as a result. My thought about that has always been, “Why live longer if you’re not having any fun?”

Kiran October 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Aww… concerned citizen :)

Matt October 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm

oh I agree, that’s why we kept on eating… too good to pass up!

Philip October 28, 2010 at 1:33 pm

More sand, please.

Chris James October 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm

The well-dressed Indian was most definitely on to something, but definitely a bit presumptuous to think it was OK to bother you while dining. At least he was polite and courteous — this is probably what made it more of an entertaining experience and one worth writing about.

Miri Leigh October 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I applaud you for not allowing yourself to be deterred. I heart pratas… and grease.

Garrett October 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Sounds like the crazies left me along for a moment to go bug you. Have fun with them.

Amy October 28, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Julia Child ate butter everyday. Loved steak, gin and cheap greasy tacos. Lived to 92.

Matt October 28, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I think that says EVERYTHING right there. Brilliant.

Jansen October 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Gotta indulge and splurge occassionaly.

Sally - My Custard Pie October 29, 2010 at 3:06 am

Beautifully written post. Had me laughing out loud.

Heather @ Creative Family Moments October 29, 2010 at 8:53 am

What a funny experience!

Vivilicious October 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

That’s one of the great things about living in Singapore, I get to have fab grease bombs like pratas, curry puffs, etc. balanced with my “regular” food, i.e. lots of home cooked, whole grained foods. Call me greedy, I love them all ;-) !

Vivilicious October 29, 2010 at 9:22 am

By the way, totally had me snorting curry out my nose, hilariously put!

Alissa October 29, 2010 at 11:51 am

I want sand! Great story, and I love your photography!

lila scott October 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm

That’s hilarious! Good for him but I would have done the same as you! Bon appetit!

Karen October 30, 2010 at 5:05 am

oo oo ooo ROTI PRATA!!!

MMM October 31, 2010 at 10:50 am

that’s a wonderful story =)
and your blog is great as well!!
have a look at ours=)

wizzythestick October 31, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Too funny. In response “I knew a man who gave up smoking, drinking, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself” Johnny Carson

Bugis November 1, 2010 at 4:26 am

A lot of people eat roti prata after drinking. I think the binge eating after booze is probably more of a problem than the prata itself.

Shaffin November 1, 2010 at 8:20 am

Hi there Matt,
I am glad for you to try out the ‘Parathas/Rotis’ and am glad you enjoyed eating them.
We make them everyday here and eat it with anything, sweet, sour, bitter, hot, chili or curries/gravies and even stuff ‘muttur pilao[peas pilao]‘ in a roll and eat it with pickles.
The difference with Rotis and Parathas is that Roti can be fried or roasted on a griddle/skillet without oil, but Parathas need oil/fat/ghee when roasting or frying, actually depending on which part of the world you are in, tastes even vary and ingredients vary too…
I love your blog and love to watch and see your photos. Keep it up Chef.
Just wanted to let you know that it’s Paratha[singular] or Parathas[plural]…
Hugs and sorry and apologies for correcting you…

rocky November 4, 2010 at 4:09 am

i love oily food!

Philip November 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I was amused by this when I read it a few weeks ago, but I didn’t realize that wheat flour is a Western introduction to India. Last month, Ceylon began outlawing the use of wheat and began shutting down bakeries.

And we worry about Happy Meals!

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