If it comes to a city with over 2 million people, you are for sure going to cross paths with individuals whos taste ranges from being on a fruit diet to consuming sumo style uncountable courses of fatty goodness. Some people choose to live in a hut with very little on their hands and some can not get enough of the precious non tearable numbered paper that makes the world go round. If visiting Medan, you do not need to worry about any of the above, because food is cheap and fruit is plenty. The only thing you have to worry about is not getting lost in the slum.
Everything this city has to offer is half way there. Massive concrete structures are waiting for better days, with only a few workers puffing on the site, trying to make an impression of how exhausting smoking is while wearing a hard hat. The only thing in their mind is how to stretch the smoko til lunch, so they could run to their favourite stall for some hot hot kwetiau goreng.
This city was supposed to be an introduction to Indonesian cuisine for me. With all the colourful pictures and foreign dish names, I was blasted away with the diversity of it all. When I cranked up my taste buds and skipped a few cigarettes to get into detail of flavour, I suddenly felt empty inside. As much as I like lemongrass, I do not see myself putting it in every single dish. Do not get me wrong, the dishes were still pretty good, but most of them just tasted the same. And I really was not expecting that.
So Medan is not the city that would turn around vegans. If everything tastes the same, I really do not care if I eat sambal with tempeh or chicken or beef. I know people would say that sambal is the star of the dish, but I dare to argue. The star should be the protein. But I am not gonna give up that easily. I know that somewhere out there, there is a city which would turn a vegan around. And if I will find that city, I will call it my new home.
And here is a little special for my designer friends. Forget you fancy offices and monsterous workshops. All you need is a knife and some 3M vinyls to pimp up your car right on the streets.