Grub

Hostel Hunger Games

I

can eat for India. And it sometimes seems to my bemused friends and family that I am actually capable of eating India. I wish I could take the credit for these impressive credentials, but my world-class greed is only half nature. The rest has been carefully nurtured and honed and polished in the hostels of the institutions of higher learning where I spent my late teens and early adulthood.

Anyone who has been to any hostel anywhere knows that it takes food from a supporting role and puts it front and centre. It takes hunger and thoughts and fantasies and day dreams about food and magnifies them until it becomes pretty much the sum total of you. The descent into being a food-obsessed crazy is not always visible to you as you navigate your way through hostel life. In between making sure that you do the complex math required to balance six sets of underwear over 60 days until you can get home and either have them washed or have your parents buy new ones, your food DNA changes imperceptibly but surely.

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