Thursday, May 29, 2008

India - Day 10 (Thursday)

One of the cool things about the Bangalore office is its proximity to many different restaurants all within walking distance. There are numerous different cuisines, so it was not like I had to eat the same kind of food every single day. I think I only ate at the same restaurant, other than eating breakfast at the hotel, one time while I was there.

Today was probably the best food I have eaten so far. We ate at a restaurant called Serengeti that was like eating in a rain forest. The atmosphere was great and the food was even better. The only thing I did not eat were the prawns, which is something I would not eat back home. I tried them just to say I that I at least tried them, but I could not get past the chewing, leathery texture.

One of the items we order was a soup called Murgh Shorba Badami. It was served in a glass (this was the second time I have had soup in a glass, so I was not surprised this time) and it had a good balance of spice and sweetness to make the soup very enjoyable. I think this was Suzy's first soup in a glass, as she seemed a bit surprised as to what was being served.

A couple of different rices were part of the lunch. Both were vegetarian rices (Vamsi is a vegetarian) and both had flavors that did not require meat to make it taste good. I need to find a cookbook that shows me how to make rices like this.

I took a tour around the restaurant to see soak up the atmosphere. The whole restaurant was setup to make you feel like you were in the jungle including waterfalls and streams running throughout the restaurant. There were various semi-animated animals and birds in different areas, but the one that I thought was best was the elephant at the entrance; it was motion activated that would raise its trunk and trumpet whenever anyone walked by. My daughter loves elephants, so it was special to me because it made me think of her.

The rest of the CheckFree team that was touring the different India centers made it to our office later in the afternoon. Like the other sites they saw, they came to see what was happening at the Bangalore office with all the different groups. Each group had a presentation that they gave to the group.

After the presentations were over, we called it a day and went back to the hotel. The CheckFree crew was staying at the same hotel that Suzy and I were staying at, so it made it easy for meeting for dinner. We ended up eating at the cafe at the hotel where we have breakfast each morning. What was kind of interesting though, they seated us at the bar where all the breakfast items are set out, due the large number of people we had in our party.

Today is two days before the elections in Bangalore. The reason I mention this factoid is because starting two days prior to the election through the election day no alcohol is served anywhere in the city legally. This did not bother me at all, because I don't drink, but the majority of the other members of the party were definitely saddened by this. Suzy said that she was very happy she had her beers the previous night at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Dinners were somewhat optional while I have been here because I generally was fed extremely well during lunch that I was not overly hungry come dinner time. Today, was one of those days when I was not overly hungry, so I ordered a four-cheese pizza. The pizza used naan for the crust and there was no mozzarella used at all. The sauce was a light garlic olive oil. For not being very hungry, this was a very good pizza. Suzy was the only person at the table that ordered Indian food. The rest of the party tried their hand at Italian food and most of them found it too spicy to eat; a couple of the ladies sent it back (with a little urging) to get something less spicy - even at that, it was a bit too spicy for them.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as asking the waiter to redo an order because the person is too shy to ask him/herself.

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