The Food: Oh my, what can be said. It’s known that Bhutanese love chili. My time here has given me much insight into what true love is. It’s putting chili in everything. Chili powder for instant soups, chili paste for rice, fried chili for a side dish, chili spread… It’s difficult to find a staple food here that is not infused with chili. I actually don’t mind it that much, but of course it can be a little hot.
Every meal at RTC contains rice and a soup such as Indian dal (lentil soup). On the side is kewadatsi (potatos and cheese), emadatsi (chili and cheese) and some bread (thin and crispy, the name escapes me). We can also eat at the canteen which has a variety of foods, but most are fried. Very popular is egg or vegetable fried rice with chili paste, maggie noodle soup or Wai Wai noodles (both packaged noodles from India) and Aloo Prata, or fried bread stuffed with potatoes and chili. Fortunately, we actually have access to an apartment where we can cook anything we like, but only using a frying pan. I frequently buy eggs, bread and cheese to get my protein.
Food in Thimphu is pretty good. At Bhutanese restaurants you can get an entire meal for about nu. 50 or about a dollar. Then there are those higher quality cafes and restaurants that usually cater to the wealthier crowd. Some cafes have fast wireless internet, so it makes it worthwhile. Some days I head to town for an entire evening to get work done. I do however enjoy walking around town and trying to eat at new spots.