Corey writes:

One of the things we've been loving here at SOVA is the fact that we get a fresh, hot, healthy lunch every day from the canteen for about 67 cents. Lunch is the big meal of the day here in K-put, and it's usually eaten around 2:00pm. Shocking! Actually eating lunch that late is no problem because we have some tea at 11:30 to tide us over. Our whole eating schedule looks like this:

8:00am - Breakfast
11:30am - Tea
2:00pm - Lunch
5:00pm - Tea (sometimes snack)
8:00pm - Dinner

Our friends here think we're crazy because we eat dinner so early. Most of them eat dinner at 10:00pm and then go straight to bed, this way they aren't hungry during the night. The funny thing is that the common wisdom in the U.S. is that eating right before bed will make you fat, but most of our friends here are very skinny. Anyway, back to lunch:

The lunch consists of rice (craploads of rice), dal (the yellow stuff), sauteed greens, and then a mix of three of four other dishes. Most of the time it's vegetarian, sometimes it's not. The engineer in me loves the utility of the stainless steel trays, spoons, cups, etc. But I can't help getting feeling like I'm in prison sometimes.... or the army....

Meat is a treat. Yesterday we had chicken and Gina didn't take any, because she doesn't like the fact that all the chicken has bones. Six people came up and asked why she didn't take chicken, including our boss.

I've started eating with my hands at work. It's actually kind of nice, and it makes my colleagues happy. Although this is one interesting point of cultural contention. Not all of the people at SOVA eat with their hands. Some of the younger people eat with spoons. In 25 years, maybe everyone at SOVA will be eating with spoons.

This is the Indian way to drink water. Nearly everything is communal property, so putting your lips on that cup or water bottle is bad manners. You're spreading your germs to everyone else who is going to use it.

When we're all done with lunch, we take our trays outside and dump anything we haven't eaten into the bucket for the dogs. Nothing goes to waste.