It wasn’t a great spoonful of rasgulla, but that’s not the point.
Fine, food is usually the point, but often I place the same amount of importance in good wandering for the day. Nowadays when I travel, I eschew guidebooks and traditional points of interest and just go for a long walk. Very long. Particularly in places that long ago decided that sidewalks were too pedestrian-friendly, and in those cities where breathing is a task best left to cigarettes.
Nevertheless, I wander, as was the case when I briefly visited Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Beyond a long-winded local population, I expected to see small Indonesian and Filipino communities, due to the cruise and shipping industries. Yep. I was surprised however, to encounter Bangladeshis selling various trinkets and wares throughout much of Palermo’s urban core. I may have also seen some Bengali youths playing cricket, but my mind was likely getting its West and East Pakistans all mixed up.
Naturally, i didn’t buy anything from those vendors, because the last time I did I couldn’t return my “AA½” batteries. Though I did read that many Bangladeshis emigrated to Italy in the 1980s and 1990s, not ONCE did I hear of a “Little Bangladesh” in Sicily. I must not be hanging around the best of circles. In any event, I trudged on with my amble, and came across a street (named Via Calderai) with a few Bengali expat stores. Could Italian-Bengali cuisine – puchka alla vongole – be in the works? Maybe not this century, but a small snack from the subcontinent proves that wandering without having to worry about checking off heavily fortified attractions is both enriching and appetizing.
How do you travel?