Sunday, 28 September 2014

Cooked like a Kebab

Our host family are amazing.  Their door is always open to everyone.  Every day our 'family' seems to grow.  Everyone is treated with kindness and respect.  The house seems full of love and laughter most of the day.

The tastiest food imaginable is brought from the kitchen at regular intervals.  I fear I may have to add another X to the label inside my clothes before I return home.  I am not always sure what I am trying but so far I have enjoyed every morsel.  My favourites have to be a vegetable rissole.  Crunchy on the outside and spicy in the middle.

Breakfast today was a leisurely affair with rice, omelette, a chilli dish, yoghurt, raw bean sprouts, sesame seeds, spinach parantha and some other little dishes.  A crane would have been useful to raise my rear from the seat.

Our chauffeur and bodyguard arrived to transport us to the Red Fort.  We had quite a carful.  Nine of us squeezed into the seven seater.  We appeared to have lots of room compared to some of the cars and buses we passed.  We drove along the road where all the embassies hid behind manicured lawns.

As we approached the centre, the roads became busier and busier until we reached standstill.  From that point on, it became a matter of whose horn beeped the loudest to create a space.  One young man on a scooter decided to perform a U-ey.  He hadn't taken into account the raised walkway in the middle and his scooter straddled the concrete with the wheels in mid-air.  However, a passing driver thrust his hand through his open window and pushed the scooter over the barrier.  Ah a little more space for us to cram into.

I was fascinated by the range of shops that spilled out onto the pavements.  How my daughter would have loved rummaging through the bizarre bazaar bookstall.  As for Mr S, we even spotted a popcorn machine shop.  He could extend his variety now!! 
My eyes were drawn to the Heavens.  I could hardly believe what I saw - some birds of prey that looked suspiciously like red kites.  I googled 'Delhi Birds' later and found that they were indeed Black Kites.  Another tick in my World of Birds Book!!  I would have posted a photo but every time they came close, I couldn't pull my pod from its pouch fast enough.

Eventually we arrived at the Red Fort.  The sun was beating down.  I was grateful that I had brought along my infamous flap hat, otherwise I would have shrivelled like a, like a...... Help someone.  I am having a senior moment.  Think my brain was frazzled by the sun.  What would you be frazzled like??

Our bodyguard went in search of tickets but on his return we had to join the snaking entrance queue.  It moved slowly, slowly.  One cheeky chappy tried to join us but he hadn't reckoned on N's reaction.  In a very assertive tone, she expressed her displeasure and he retreated in shame with his tail between his legs ( where else would it be?!)

At the fort entrance, we were segregated by sex and a brisk body search performed.  Hmm I rather liked the look of the frisking chap in the male queue but my lady was very pleasant and asked if I was having a nice day.  I wanted to say it would have been nicer if I had been in the other queue but thought better of it.
Inside the fort we employed the service of a guide to explain how it was created and what it was used for.  I will leave you to research that for yourselves but suffice to say I was most impressed by the mix of architectural styles.  I must admit to feeling a little uncomfortable when there was mention of the British and the word bloody. 

 N felt a little uncomfortable too when the sole of her shoe came adrift.  She decided to leave it on the path.  It was still there, looking very lonely, when we returned.  The bodyguard, not wanting it to suffer in the heat any longer, picked it up carefully and put it in a plastic bag.  Perhaps he will mend it later so Nandarella can go to the ball!

After our tour the younger element were hungry and I was ready for a drink.  The world seemed to be getting hotter and hotter.  As I special treat we popped to Kebab Express to sample the local fast food.  We obviously looked like VIPs as they brought out a guest book for us to sign.  Maybe they thought I was Judi Dench, just like on my last tour.

Both young and old were feeling the heat, so we asked the driver to take us home.  On our return, the youngsters introduced us to a traditional board game called Carron.  With the board in the middle of our bed ( I share with A) we squatted on the mattress and tried to knock counters into corner holes by finger flicking a white large counter.  It was a mixture of air hockey, snooker and shove halfpenny.  Never has a mattress seen such finger flicking.  Well mine hasn't for many a year.  I fear I must practice more often.  Perhaps Hubby will provide me with something round to practice on!!

I thought we were 'in' for the night but our generous host had other ideas.  The cars (note the plural) were summoned and we were taken to an exclusive residence used by the police when they were relocated.  Here I had a flashback to a Greek wedding.  Nibbles were passed around.  Ooohhh they were good and my host encouraged me to try more.  Had N not whispered in my ear that the main meal was yet to come, I would probably have had my sixth chicken piece.

After the nibbly bits the waiters brought around a cinnamon flavoured vegetable soup in a cup.  I loved it and turned to N for her opinion.  'It's not my cup of tea,' she said.  In unison A and I chortled and said, 'No, it's a cup of soup not tea!!'  Groan.  Laugh.

Eventually we were taken through to another room to select items from the buffet.  I don't know what I chose, but I liked it all and I ate it all.  Well, my Mum said you had to clear your plate.  My stomach was beginning to groan but I could not resist the cold rice pudding dessert.  I was assured it was Mr S's favourite.  If it was good enough for Popcorn Man, it was good enough for me.  And it was.

To conclude this grand repast, the waiters brought a tray bearing two items:- small pieces of sugar and fennel.  A teaspoon of each, pop it in your mouth and aniseed Heaven. Apparently it aids digestion too. 

We said goodbye to our Host's friends.  They informed me that I would be going there for lunch tomorrow.  They obviously think I am undernourished!!!!!  What an amazing day I have had.  Not only have I seen some amazing sights, I have made new friends and tasted new delights.  Time for home and the air-con.  Night all x 

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