Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fast food chains

Ordinarily I never eat at American fast food chains outside the U.S., but I'm glad I've experienced the Indian versions of familiar restaurants.'s not exactly the same!

Domino's Pizza and Pizza Hut - Because of the large number of vegetarians in India, pizza restaurants are heavy on the veg pizzas. And non-veg choices are usually with chicken rather than beef products. On Pizza Hut's menu, pepperoni was the only meat pizza available. You want Indian spices in your pizza? How about a chicken tikka pizza?

McDonald's - There's a McD near the apartment in the shopping area. Unfortunately in that area the food choices are either street food (looks good, but I don't want to chance getting sick) or McD and KFC. Both have A/C and seating with a view of the street so they're quite inviting when you're tired from shopping. I stopped at McD today thinking I would get a burger (I haven't had meat in 3 weeks!) and found that hamburger isn't on the menu at all! Burger choices are chicken, veggie and filet-o-fish. I ended up with a mexican chicken wrap, which was pretty good.

KFC - Last weekend I gave KFC a try since I was on that side of the street. Just like McDonald's, the menu is different. Fried chicken (dark meat only) and chicken nuggets were familiar, but instead of fries you can have rice with veggies in it. They also had fried veggie pieces for the vegetarians. KFC does deliver (virtually every store delivers for free here!) and has a number of scooters ready to go.

Subway - My lunch choices at work is either Subway, Pizza Hut or Coffee Day. Subway sort of tastes like the U.S. version. Turkey is available, along with chicken ham, lamb salami, tuna, and chicken meatballs. The veggie sub is obviously quite popular. There's no oil and vinegar or italian dressing. They do have honey mustard, mayo, teriyaki sauce and some other sweet sauces. I found that the best choice is asking for very little mayo and salt and pepper. Actually, the best lunch is leftovers from home!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Indian weddings

One of the cool things about spending 3 hours a week with my yoga instructor is learning about all things Indian. She attended a wedding today so we talked a bit about Indian weddings.

I've learned a few things about them since arriving in Mumbai:

1. Winter is wedding season. How terrible for those whose plans were disrupted due to the recent terrorist attacks!

2. They can be held on any day of the week. The day and time is selected by looking at the birth charts of the bride and groom. In fact, the charts are also used to determine if the couple should be married at all. They're usually held during daylight hours.

3. They're a massive, festive event. A colleague was invited to a wedding of someone he didn't even know. When asked if it was going to be OK with the bride and groom, he was told that there were going to be 1,000 people in attendance so how will one more guest matter? The more the merrier!

4. I've seen restaurants and fields decorated to host a wedding. It's a bit difficult to miss as lots of colorful fabric is used to decorate the entryway. It's a wonderful sight next to so many dirty and gray buildings in the city.

My teacher wished we had discussed this earlier because she would've invited me to come along. I hope that one day I can experience an Indian wedding because they're steeped in ritual and fun. For now I guess I can watch movies like Monsoon Wedding and get into the spirit of the event.