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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Welcome to Pondicherry...

From Mumbai to Pondicherry:

We're quite happy in our Pondicherry hotel, called Calves Heritage Hotel.  It's probably the huge copper bathtub that most impresses us.  It has been squeezed into this side of the bathroom with nary 1/16th of an inch to spare. 


We're on a little street in the French quarter of Pondicherry.  The only problem is that we're overlooking the street, which means that we're part of the experience of the street.  That translates to all the honking of horns that happens as two cars attempt to pass each other on the narrow street, or the trash tractor who comes by early in the morning with its women trash collectors.  They pass the garbage to a man standing in the rear collection vehicle who then sorts through it pulling out all the plastic and recyclable items.  


Even earlier than that, you can hear the sound of women cleaning the streets with water and their brooms.  They are paid a very small monthly stipend by the government to keep the streets looking nice.  This happens only in the French Quarter where the streets are paved and remarkably free of trash.

Hey, who says you can't do business from a tuk tuk?  This guy is getting ready for work by checking out his emails...



Aside from the noise, we're happy with our accommodations and even happier with the restaurant, which has the reputation of being one of the finest dining spots of all Pondicherry.  Here are some of the food items that we enjoyed from the Maharaja's Kitchen:  Palak Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese with Spinach), Kai Kari Mandi (Vegetables in Cashew Gravy), Aloo (Califlower in flavoury spices), Paneery Goli Kebabs (Cottage cheese and potato balls served with green chutney), Bhindi Jaipuri (Crispy fried okra and onions tossed with chillie, dry mango and cumin), Tandoori cooked vegetables and the most delicious Mushroom and onion pulao rice.  The Indian food journey has begun...



Here's a typical breakfast of scrambled eggs, dosas, uttapam, sambar and chutney...