When i arrive in India the most important thing I like to suss out close to my accomodation is the nearest, best Chai!
The first place I found my driver took me too, and it was good but a little further than I wanted to walk first thing in the morning:) It's a commitment to leave your home and walk along the street, you must be absolutly prepared for the dust, and noise that will engulf you, so the closer the better. I did however like the size and taste of this Chai though and was hopeful I could find something like it. Now, you might be thinking to yourself arent all the chais the same ? The answer to that is , NO. Some make their chais with more water than milk, some make their chais with more added spice, some with more added sugar. I like my chai more on the milky, less sweet side of chais:)
I found a great cafe near my studio that makes a delicious Chai but charges 16 rupees i mean we are only talking about 25cents here but chais are commonly 10rupees thats what I feel good about paying like the locals. The food here is amazing , their gravies are so beautifully spiced its almost absurd, so good!! The perfect Chai hunt continues...
The other day I decided to make a left instead of taking my usual right. I walked down this unknown street making turns that interested me, nodding and smiling at the locals, the weather was perfection. The sky was bright blue, the breeze was nice and cool, with a temperature of about 77. I decided on another left. I wasnt a few steps down this road when the cutest littlest older woman called out "what country you from?" I walked over and stated I was from the The states. She then preceded to tell me about her years living in Australia, how her husband died years ago and she had no children. Her in laws lived a couple houses down so that was good to hear she wasnt all alone. She had the same spunk and mannerisms of my late Mom-Mom and I found great pleasure in the twenty minutes I spent talking with her. She stood there in her scarlet sari, hair in a messy bun, bare feet, and no teeth sharing her world with me, her name was Helen.
I continued on down the road and finally reached some hustle and bustle, "surely there is a chai stall near by", i thought to myself. "YES" I found it...You know you found it because thats where everyone has gathered. I stepped up ordered one chai, we made the exchange one small plastic cup of chai for one 10rupee note. Just the smell and I knew i found my chai, after the first sip I was certain. Standing there in front of a dusty old street, with a huge pile of garbage, and beautiful flower ladden trees I felt %100 percent happy!
I bought a bunch of bananas from a street cart and made my way home, the bananas and the chai are one street away...perfect!