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    Volume 3 | Issue 17 | May 01, 2011 |


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Campus Edibles

NSU Cafeteria:
The Mystery Box!

Sumaiya Ahsan Bushra

Friends, adda and food are the three major elements that complete the life of most university going students in Bangladesh. Without the deadly combination of the trio, life would seem extremely dull, and us, Bangladeshis are not very receptive about the concept of monotony, particularly, when it comes to eating. Be it a public university or a private university, food seems to be the main attraction everywhere. In a private institution like North South University (NSU), food not only has one face but like a chameleon, it changes colour from one booth to another. For most students it almost seems like possessing Aladdin's genie lamp -- you wish for a dish and voila, you have it!

The delicacies inside the 'Mystery Box'. Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

A number of dishes are available at different booths, like Golpea Burger, Business Aid (NSU's original canteen), Magdonal's and Baghdad Hotel and Restaurant (in short, known as B H & R). Students at NSU come in at all hours of the day, so no specific breakfast, lunch or dinner menu is available per say. But then again, since the students have so many options, if they do want to catch an early morning breakfast before the 8 am class, they usually opt for the Business Aid booth. From here, they can choose from chicken rolls, egg rolls, chicken sandwiches, kebab rolls (occasionally available) or simply shingaras and samosas which are the most popular. At times, early morning classes can become really hectic. To help keep a clear mind, a good cup of tea and coffee is also available here at the legendary Mojo mama's corner.

Working on assignments in the cafeteria is a common scene. Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Additionally to avoid the crazy traffic, if a student comes to university early, he or she can grab a scrumptious and fulfilling breakfast with the assortment of parata, daal and chicken liver from B H & R. Malay cha is another speciality available here to keep the early risers running throughout the day. This sugary tea can help students boost their energy level before a midterm or a final exam.

Apart from preparing presentations and writing papers in the cramped three month semester, students at NSU are mostly found sitting in groups at the canteen enjoying endless cups of tea and phuchkas, which have varieties as well. Raj kachori and dahi phuchka are on top of the food list for some female students. They absolutely love the taste of the sweet and sour yoghurt blended with tamarind paste and a pinch of ground red pepper.

As the clock ticks and strikes 12, students come rushing into the canteen. In the midst of the buzzing and the chit-chatting, some students gear up to catch their first meal of the day while others continue the food marathon that had begun in the morning. For lunch, the option is unlimited. Students can eat from anywhere. Depending on their appetite and mood they can either choose to eat western food from Golpea or go for Indian or Chinese cuisine. Golpea's chicken burger is the most famous amongst students. Other items include chicken fry, chicken pâtés, macaroni, chicken pizza and spaghetti. At Golpea they can also get cool drinks like malta, orange, grape, pineapple juice or even lassi and cold coffee at a reasonable price.

However, if students want to eat Indian and Bangladeshi food items, they can easily avail it at B H & R. Here, they sell beef tehari, kichuri, plain pulao with the curry for the day, chicken pulao or authentic bhaat and chingri mach. However, some students like having the new drink on-campus, 'ice-tea' which helps them stay fresh and cool from the scorching summer heat.

Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Furthermore, if one is not satisfied then they can go for Chinese -- let's just say the Bangladeshi version of the Chinese cuisine. Magdonal's offers students a very good deal for items like Thai or corn soup, fried rice with beef chilli or chicken chilli, sweet and sour chicken, grilled chicken.

As mentioned before, NSU's canteen is a mystery box. There is something or the other to please all the four senses of the tongue, be it bitter, sour, salty or sweet. To appease your sweet tooth, pastries and doughnuts are available at Golpea. In addition, during summer, ice-cream is also sold at a reasonable price. This is no regular polar choc-bar rather a great assortment of pistachio, strawberry, tutty - fruity, chocolate chip and many other flavours -- both cone and cup -- are sold at Golpea. If students wish to shell out more money, they can go for Baskin Robbins which is available in the B H & R booth.

Life in private universities like North South can be very demanding at times. But this should not, at any cost, stop students from exploring and enjoying the options available on campus. Specially, when it comes to food, even introverts are recommended to check out the canteen and try out the Aladdin's genie lamp!


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