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"It was everything I remembered it to be, and I actually shuddered with the first taste."
- Michael Szewczyk

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Tripping for the Indian ice cream
by Michael Szewczyk, 31, Toms River, New Jersey, USA
Apr 22, 2000

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My salvation glands were acting up like a chained dog that canít quite reach the feeding bowl. We arrived. Grabbing my bag and hopping over the wall surrounding the bus station, I could think of no reason to walk, and with a forty pound backpack, I entered into a quick jog, I was close now, I could taste it. "One street, two streets, ughhh!". How many more streets? There up the street on the left-hand side it stood my soul reason for saving every penny over the last two years. The place that almost killed me to leave the last time I was here, the best thing in India, quite possible in all of the world! Like the return of a lost lover whose embrace you can still remember.

There it stood shining like a beacon in front of me, my own private sirenís song. With my dirt covered face and overloaded backpack I entered. It had been a long two years since I had been there, and I bowed in reverence with a respectful "Namaste" to the owner. I explained how I had traveled all the way around the world just to be here, his faced blushed with pride because he knew what I was here for. "Do you want to start with the Strawberry or the Rum in Raisin?", he asked. "Double Strawberry and keep them coming", I replied.

I had finally arrived, my Mecca was the Sri Ram Vijay Ice Cream Parlor. Homemade, hand-scooped, fresh milk, savory shake place. Being an over gluttonous American I knew my ice cream and have tried just about everyone on the market, but there was something special about this ice cream. Smooth, creamy, and blissfully inexpensive. Perhaps I should say, and others who have not experienced Ram Vijayís ice cream may disagree, this is the best ice cream in the world.

It was everything I remembered it to be, and I actually shuddered with the first taste. Speaking with the first spoonful in my mouth, I grunted out loud like a Neanderthal man "Strrrraawwbbbeerryy, mmmmmm, ggggoooddd". I was hoping that my primordial grunt was instinctively being heard around the world and everyone at the moment in the world was experiencing the pleasure that I was.

Everyday spent after that first taste was to become a day surrounded by "when are we going to get ice cream". Six weeks later I had finally gone through the whole menu four times and was about ten pounds heavier. But it was a weight that I was happy to carry around and brag about how I put on a belly at Sri Ram Vijayís ice cream.

The three months I had left in India were never quite as good as those days, but I the memory of the Strawberry, Vanilla, Chocolate, Rum and Raisin, Coconut, Shriikhand, and those tasty shakes, reminded me that when I came home it was time to start saving again for another trip to the Sri Ram Vijay Ice Cream Stand.

Sri Ram Vijay is located in the main market in Diu town and anyone who is in India dealing with the traveling blues should make this pilgrimage. It will be a memory that lasts forever

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