A big cricket win for India and a small taste of the pleasures of New Delhi
I must admit I'd never watched even a second of a cricket match before Saturday night, but when you're in New Delhi and India's trying to win its first world cup of cricket in 28 years you'd be crazy not to watch, even if your hotel is charging $100 Canadian for a buffet dinner (drinks included but it's still a fortune for Inida) and a big-screen TV.
I don't regret it, though. The food was varied and quite good, the Indian red wine (a Cab-Shiraz blend) quite decent and the cricket, well, that was about a great a sporting event as I've ever witnessed, and I got to cover the Blue Jays winning the World Series twice, a couple of major golf tourneys and the Kobe Bryant 84-point explosion against the Raptors in LA a few years ago.
There was a great spread at the Intercontinental Nehru Place, which isn't quite on the normal tourist circuit but is in a nice part of town that's a bit quieter than the "downtown" areas. And folks went pretty berserk when India rallied from being down a sizable 274 to Sri Lanka.
It was a lot crazier at India Gate, the popular WW I memorial, but it still was fun to watch folks party a bit at the hotel.
That was Saturday. Sunday was spent, among other things, touring the India Gate and the city's biggest Sikh Temple, where they serve up free lunches to anyone who comes in. My tour guides showed me around the kitched, which was stuffed to the gills with folks making bread and pickles and with giant, copper vats boiling lentils. Quite colourful and fascinating to watch (see photo).
We also checked out the Lotus Temple, which looks a lot like the Sydney Opera House, and the lovely mosque and tombs at Lodi Gardens, which are awesome near sunset and which might be my favourite stop so far in a city that's quite a blast to visit.
I love the tuk tuk's most of all; small, three-wheeled taxis that can shuttle you for several miles for not much more than two dollars. You really get to see the people - and the wandering cows on the street and the women with kids on their laps on the back of a moped and, yes, the occasional monkey or elephant - up close and it's a fabulously entertaining trip.
More on Monday, including, I hope, the city's biggest mosque and some of the flavours of Old Delhi.