Steve Jenson's blog

White People think Indian Food is Hot.

White People think Indian Food is Hot.

I just finished reading a secular biography of the Buddha recently and Stacy and I were chatting about the Buddha's magic Iddhi powers which he acquired as a highly skilled yogin. She said her first impressions of yoga came from watching Dhalsim's stretchy limbs in Street Fighter II. As a kid, she figured there must be some small kernel of truth to that. Equally stupid is that, as a kid, that's exactly where I got my first impressions of Indian food from. The manual says that Dhalsim got his "Yoga Flame" from the hot curry he ate. I couldn't imagine a food so hot that you felt like you were breathing fire. Wasn't that a bad meal? Wouldn't you ask for your money back? How could a place like that stay in business? These types of comics didn't help, either:

This clichéd comedic target was common in the magazines that adults read when I was a kid, the particular one I've always remembered had a guy running to the bathroom with flames coming out of his pants in a restaurant with a clearly Indian name. At 10, I recognized the dangers that the comic bravely warned me of. I knew that often political comics took aim at targets that the media didn't dare attack and figured this must be the same.

The first time somebody actually offered me Indian food, I was very nervous. It had a dangerously bright orange color but smelled and tasted great. Thankfully fire did not come out of my ass and set my pants on fire.

# — 02 March, 2008