The Experience, Samirah Jaigirdar '22
Global Islamic Studies, International Relations Major
I have not been on any kind of vacation since the pandemic started. So when Fall Break rolled around this year, all I wanted to do was go somewhere. I did not care where as long as I didn’t have to think or talk about my academics. For my final Fall Break at Conn, a couple of my friends and I went to Washington, D.C. I had two goals: visit as many museums as possible and try as many new foods as possible. I definitely excelled at the second goal.
The 6-hour train ride from New London to Washington D.C. seemed to go particularly slow as I spent most of my time on my phone scrolling through all the different restaurants I could go to. I quickly realized that D.C. was an expensive place so I had to budget my meals accordingly. The first night, I ended up at a French restaurant trying French food for the first time! I had the boeuf bourguignon and had no doubt why this was the restaurant’s house special. The beef was tenderly cooked and the mashed potatoes simply soaked up the aromatic gravy. In Bangladesh, where I’m from, we have a variety of beef curries. But the boeuf bourguignon was unlike any other beef dish I’ve had. If all the recipes I found weren’t five hours long, I definitely would have given this dish a shot at my on-campus apartment.
The next day, after a few fascinating hours at the National Museum of the American Indian, my friends and I had lunch at a Peruvian-Chinese fusion restaurant. The food was an interesting blend of cultures. The menu ranged from dim sum to the typical Peruvian Ají de Gallina. My friends got Lomo Saltado, a dish made of beef, potatoes and aji amarillo peppers, while I got a brunch dish consisting of Peruvian sausage, avocado and scrambled eggs on bread. I would like to consider myself a flexible eater who is open to everything but I never imagined myself eating a mix of Peruvian and Chinese food together.
On the last day, after a sobering visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, we went to a Turkish restaurant. For our appetizers, we had a mushroom gratin and for our entrees, we all had a Döner Kebab platter. The food was amazing but the most interesting thing we had was Turkish coffee. I have truly never had stronger coffee than that and I really wish I could drink it during finals!