In the spring of 1998, I moved out of my freshman year dorm room, saying goodbye forever to my freshman year roommate. This 4'8" dude was the moodiest, rudest, most anti-social dude I've ever known. He also happened to be from India. We didn't see eye to eye on lots of things, and I'm not talking about religion or politics or foreign policy. I'm talking about personal hygiene, housekeeping and hours of operation. Manners of common human decency.
This dude cooked authentic Indian food in our tiny dorm room just about every night, because the cafeteria usually had non-Indian fare. For a while, this was cool. I love experiencing new culture and new things. But then I discovered two things: one, certain spices are expelled from the body via sweat glands and not the usual digestive process; two, if a person eats foods containing those spices, and goes an entire semester without washing his bedsheets, the smell -- nay, the odor -- becomes overwhelming. There needs to be a better word for "Gross" when you're talking about The Ol' 56er, as I derisively called him. Suffice it to say, this odor made pungent look for a stronger word to describe itself.
So much so that to this day, the very scent of Indian cuisine makes me throw up in my mouth. The scent brings me back to days in 1997 or 1998, the smell of our dorm room, and I throw up in my mouth. Bad times.
I've had a personal embargo on Indian Food for 121 months, or 10 years and 1 month, or over a decade, depending on your preference in timekeeping. But some recent acts of diplomacy have convinced me that the best thing for domestic tranquility is to lift the sanctions, to lift the embargo, and to go eat Indian food at an authentic Indian restaurant.