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7.18.10: Hyderabad, India

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I started the day with the perfect breakfast at a quaint little bistro called Kamat Hotel.
We stumbled upon this delicious hole-in-the-wall and liked so much we came three days in a row. We had a savory meal of cheese toast with tomato and onion uttappam (a thick savory rice-flour pancakes with minced onions, chopped green chilies, coriander and coconut) and I washed it all down with a flavorful cup of steaming chai.

The heat in India this time of year is unbearably humid. I thought I would be used to it by now having lived in Texas for the past year but I was wrong. Dallas is arid in comparison. Makeup is pointless here. As soon as you open the door, you've sweat it all off. I have actually had to start carrying around a rag to wipe the off the sweat beads that plunge down my glistening face. That's the reason I'm not in a lot of the pictures I'm posting, it's not a cute look. I'd rather give you a nice monument too look at rather than a nice monument with my flushed, clammy, haggard-looking face. I'm doing you a favor.

To escape the scorching heat we decided to move our travel train indoors and see a movie. Hyderabad, India is home to the worlds biggest IMAX Theater and being a huge movie buff I had to feast on this beauty.
At over eight stories high, this screen is a beast... I want one. We watched 'Inception' which was a great action/thriller and the perfect movie to watch on this screen. I was enthralled from beginning to end and at a quarter of the price as it would be in the states. Money well spent.

As we walked out of the theater, I started feeling the rumbling of hunger pangs. It was past lunchtime and my stomach knew it. We agreed that we would find the first place that looked like we wouldn't contract TB and eat there. Not more than a moment after I made the deal max spotted McDonald's.
Normally I would put Mickey D's in the TB category. I don't particularly care for fast food at all unless it's two am or curing my hangover, but McDonalds is the worst and I try to avoid it whenever possible. If you don't believe me, try watching the first five minutes of 'Supersize Me' and then we'll see how often you visit Ronald. Max was so sprung at the idea that I had to give in, but I must admit, I was a little curious to see how the menu differed from the American version.
First, there was not a single beef item on the menu, they had the normal McChicken, chicken nuggets, French fries, etc but then they had some random cosine choices I had never heard of. Chicken Maharaja Mac, Salsa Paneer wrap and Chicken Mexican Wrap were among some of the more interesting items.

Max was feeling ambitious and ordered 20 nuggets, fries and a coke and I played it safe with some potato wedges and a vanilla ice cream cone. I tried the chicken nuggets (strictly for journalistic integrity) and I
Thought they tasted just as crappy as they do in the states although max wolfed them down before I was even done with my ice cream. I have to say though; the potato wedges were really outstanding. I don't know if we have this as an available menu item in America (I haven't been to McDonalds since I was too stupid to know better) but if we don't, we should.

We left McDonalds and headed across the street to Lumbini Park to explore. There wasn't too much to do in the park, some kiddy rides and food vendors, it reminded me of a mini state fair but it was nicely groomed and a nice view of Hussain Sagar lake.

We hopped in a boat and cruised out into the lake to feast our eyes on the worlds largest freestanding stone Buddha Statue.
Towering over 17 meters tall, this gargantuan god’s intricately carved stonework is worth the trip.

After running around the park a while we decided it was food time. I looked up a Palace Heights restaurant and bar headed there. We walked around in circles for 30 minutes trying to find this place as the map told us we were basically on top of it. Come to find out that it is nestled at the top floor of a drab dirty high-rise. Although the buildings exterior was u welcoming to say the least, we thought we'd venture in for a peek, and I'm so glad we did. The restaurant was a high class gem, the service was excellent, the menu was extensive and we had a sensational view over the whole city.
I'm not going to wander into every disheveled restaurant I come across but this was a good reminder not to judge a book by its cover.

Posted by emichele 23:47 Archived in India

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