Nehal is a student as CMU, and is married. She stayed with her husband for a couple of years before starting grad school. Her husband now works in Chocago while she studies in Pittsburgh. Here are excerpts from the interview:
Initially, staying away was tough as we had spent so much time together.
He is supportive, I do not feel like i have to do something for him, he understands a lot. So i don’t have to worry about him
The distance was tough, physically being away was tough
I was attached to him since he was all I had in US
Breakfast and lunch and everything together
I am busy now so not affected, he feels left out coz he is alone.
He doesn’t come back home for lunch, now that I am not there. He used to back then. now he just carries lunch with him.
I have never had food alone, its a family affair, my mom will atleast sit with me.
Being able to talk and sharing food is important
The food bond is broken, no common time to eat together with my husband
I Skype with him and calls….day to day life….did he have lunch dinner, what did he eat….where? on the desk or with people?
Skype whenever i feel like, evenings or night
I miss that aspect of food and sharing with him
He cooks these days. When he has to cook something, he calls me….how to make that dish that you used to cook? I have these ingredients, what can i cook?
He has an idea of what he wants to cook. He calls me because he has eaten that dish before that I have cooked, so he just follows that….
This one time….samosas….i haven’t had in a long time…..it was a special occasion…made me feel great as he was super happy, the fact that i made something, his favorite….
Satisfaction out of sharing the food is a lot…..so we don’t eat out when we are together
We cook together when we are together, its mostly for dinners
I decide lunch menu so you decide dinner menu
Negotiate what we have what we want to eat, come up with something…..
He would do all prep work — chopping and washing and getting things ready — i will be there with him when he is doing this
Its a time when we are together even if one of us is not contributing
I generally cook and we eat it together
When we eat together, we watch tv also
We shop for grpceries together, i don’t drive
I am picky i choose what i want, he will be pushing the cart, or we split up and we get different things…..do you feel like eating this in the coming week….?
I try to eat with people if its possible….if not i use my phone to watch something, i will call him if possible…
I tell him that i am eating
It is hard coz we are never both eating together, he is doing something else, in a different context…..there is no shared experience
He calls me with a specific dish in mind, he has an idea of what to make
I ask him if he has all the ingredients — he checks simultaneously….
First do this, next do this…..sometimes he does it simultaneously and sometimes he does it later
Depending on dinner time and complexity of the dish….
He asks me, this is taking that much time is that okay????
The most irritating part is the measurement…..i don’t use measurements whereas he asks me how many teaspoons….thats a conflict part…..he wants the instructions in order….and step by step instructions…..and asks for step by step guidance….
Online recipe maybe is not the same taste….he mentions that i want to make it like you do
Constantly describing what is happening….smoke…color…i try to ask him what is wrong….a lot of times its face timing so i can see……Orientation is hard on Skype …i can’t see what he is seeing
It sometimes gets irritating to me….i tell him i don’t understand….should i send you a picture…..?
Recipes are fancy and what we cook is simple, so he asks me how do i simply do it
It was good, maybe not the same as yours…..he mentions if it turns out good
I send him pics of what i ate….he reacts….
I try to cook for him, i generally cook for him when we are together
Food is an important aspect of day to day life…..he is not going to achieve the same results when he is alone…