India is quite different from Pakistan! Mind you the Pakistan I’m thinking of is twenty years ago.

I’m still getting used to being here.

Delhi is beautiful! Didn’t imagine it would be so green with huge trees running down the middle of the street and flowers and hedges everywhere, and gardeners dressed in shabby clothes watering, watering, sweeping and trimming.

I’m staying at the India International Centre, or is it the International India centre, can’t remember, in a small hostel room.

It was a bit of an adjustment.

But I must say, the food is wonderful! There goes the whole idea of me trying to trim my waistline a bit on this trip!

I’m staying away from sweets, I’m happy to say, but boy do these people know how to eat!

Had some chicken korma with rice the first day and the waiter brought these little tiny tubs of chutney and hot pickle. Didn’t try the hot pickle–can’t afford the havoc it might play on my digestive system, but I did have some chutney with the food and Oh boy! It was delicious!!!!

Yum, yum, yum! Sweet and spicy, what a combination!

And at breakfast on the menu the only coffee I could find was something called ‘filtered coffee’. Was that like brewed, I asked the waiter.

He bobbled his head side to side the way they do, and said, “Yes.”

So he brought it in a little metal teapot and along with it came a little metal pot of milk, and then they put this grey flat thing on the table to put the two pots: coffee and milk on it, and it turned out the grey flat thing, with char marks on it, was a sort of heated plate they set the teapots on so they’d stay hot.


Rivaled Starbucks as far as I’m concerned.

I sat by the window and looked out on the gardens of the grounds of the IIC and they really are beautiful! Saw green parrots flitting among the leaves of the overhanging trees and then a blue green bird with a reddish brown head, looked a bit like a kingfisher or kookaburra, and then some hawks flew overhead with forked tails and some jackdaws, they looked so preposterously formal wearing black with grey waistcoats and when they flew there was a flash of white on their wings, and then, a magnificent white stork landed in the lily pond, amond beautiful white and brilliant pink water lillies.

Very very pretty!

I’m hoping to go for a walk in Lodhi gardens this afternoon. It’s practically adjacent to the IIC, an ancient garden with the ruins of mausoleums and such.

Did my session this morning and yesterday for a bunch of 14-16 year olds. This morning’s session was in the Indira Gandhi art centre, an open ground where the Bookaroo festival is being held.

Beautiful place!! Oh the trees!

They’d put out a carpet on the ground for the teens to sit on but being so early in the morning it was all wet, so the kids actually stood for the whole hour that I did my presentation, and even though they could have fidgeted they didn’t! They were mesmerized!

Publisher was very happy. Said it was fantastic, and she remarked on how attentive the audience had been even though they’d had to stand for the entire duration.

So all’s good!

Gotta go to the lobby now for some media interviews.

Over and out from India!