All around Delhi

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This morning, we walked from Ram Nagar through Connaught Place down to Bengali Market for breakfast. Crab had suggested channa bathura at Bengali Sweet Shop and he was right on the mark. Heavenly fried bread with chick pea curry may not be to everyone's taste for breakfast, but we were hungry and it was delicious.

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Before too many "five minutes look" moments

At 11, Didar was ready for us with the auto-rickshaw. We decided on a program of mainly religious places and took in a Buddhist temple, a Hindu temple made of striking red, white and yellow stone, and our driver's own Sikh gudawara.

The gudawara was very cool. Though they seem fierce with their religious accouterments of daggers, bracelets and combs, Sikhs sing their holy book and give free food to anyone who turns up at lunchtime and dinner. Their blessing is a sweet paste of ghee and flour that is sticky and delicious. There is a big Sikh holiday tomorrow - Guru Nanak's birthday, and volunteers were stringing lights and decorating. We walked around the enclosed reflecting pool, strolled through a book fair and bought a book.

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The reflecting/bathing pool and book fair

Auto drivers are notorious for taking tourists to places where they will get commissions or freebies, and Didar was no exception. By the end of the day we had been inveigled to "five minutes just look, no buy OK" at several shops. And we did "look no buy" at most of them. But I succumbed to an overpriced Aruvedic treatment for a blossoming headache and bought a really lovely silk scarf at just under Tokyo prices, I imagine, but it's beautiful and I need a head covering for visiting mosques and such.

Battling traffic at rush hour was quite an experience. I should have been afraid of the buses and trucks barreling alongside us and the other autos and cars performing a ballet of passing and crowding into roads without lane markers, but somehow I wasn't at all perturbed and enjoyed it immensely.

In the evening we started our Intrepid tour and met the group for a meeting. Expecting a party of twelve, we were surprised and pleased to find only five people on the tour, plus our tour leader, Paula. After the usual self-introductions, we talked over our itinerary, responsible travel, and Intrepid's projects. Then we went to dinner.

Dinner was fun and we talked a lot about food and ingredients. It seems that Tod and I are pretty knowledgeable even though I don't feel all that skilled in Indian cuisine. I smiled when the band struck up Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, a classic Bollywood love song by Kishore Kumar that I've heard Jim sing to Yuka.

We will sleep well tonight and without the blare of morning call to prayers, I hope.

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