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Breakfast in Delhi India

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 9/03/2016 Kimberly Cantor

This was our first full day in Delhi. Since our body clocks were all off with the twenty four hour travel day and the thirteen and a half hour time difference (weird that it's a half, never heard of that) we decided to get an early start on sightseeing.
Per our AirBnB host's recommendation, we walked about 10 minutes to the Defense Colony Market and had breakfast at Sagar's. Being from America, we are so used to our traditional Western breakfast whether that's cereal, eggs, toast, fruit, waffles, etc. so I knew that coming half way across the world I would need to adapt to something new (which you all know is quite hard for me, especially when it comes to food). We really didn't know what 95% of the menu items were and it was too hard to ask with the language barrier, so we took a chance (not a crazy chance but a chance) and ordered one Mysore Masala Dosa, which is spicy with a red chutney as the base and stuffed with potato and onion mixture and one butter dosa, which doesn't need much explanation (hopefully). Both were delicious. It also came with a tray of spicy vegetable soup (soup for breakfast?) and an array of different dipping sauces. Everything was super duper flavorful; however, it wasn't as cheap as we expected. The meal came to about $16 (LA terms that's nothing but in India we felt it was a lot) but you live and you learn.
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From breakfast, we took a 20 minute cab to Dilli Haat, which is their version of a swap meet. The cab we took reminded me of something that would be in Cuba, although I've never been to Cuba but one can only imagine.
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Dilli Haat is a sprawling outdoor market offering a colorful array of handmade goods and regional food specialities. There were clothes, pottery, shoes, artifacts and much more being sold by local vendors. It's a good thing we are on such a tight budget and only have one backpack because I could have spent an entire paycheck (which doesn't even exist anymore) in that one hour we were there.
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Following Dilli Haat, we decided to put our brave, adventurous hats on and take the Metro to the Hauz Khas Village. Yes, the Metro. Otherwise known as public transportation. Something we don't even do in LA, let alone in one of the most populated countries in the world. We figured we would try it once, and if it fails, so be it. If it is a success, we can save a lot of money and time. Knowing us, which do you think it was? I'm assuming you guessed a failure? I'm sorry to break it to you gently but you're wrong. It was a success. Tokens one way per person range from $0.15 to $0.30. Plus, it's a break on the eardrums from all the honking that goes on throughout the streets. We felt safe too because we had to go through metal detectors before going down. And there were different lines for men and women, which was a little scary to separate, but it all worked out. Find what doesn't belong in the image below...
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P.S. We have been wearing our bags in front because it makes us feel safer. This way we can see it versus being in the back and risking the chance that someone might open it without us even realizing it. Overly cautious maybe, but it puts us at ease.
Once we got out of the station, it was about a 20 minute walk to the Hauz Khas Village. Walking in India, quite like doing anything in India, is never a dull moment. Pedestrians definitely do not have the right away so every move you make, you better make it wisely. It's almost as though you are playing a video game, like duck hunt (for those born after 1990 you probably don't know what that is) and you are the duck. Your destiny is in your hands. And, as I've mentioned previously, driving in India is the most surreal concept since there is absolutely no flow to it. Cars, bikes, rickshaws, cows, goats, mopeds, tuk-tuks, people, stray dogs, etc. are all on the same road, which usually has no lanes so everyone is on top of everyone trying to get through as quickly as possible. But all of this mayhem is such a thrill to witness. It just blows my mind how something so far from what we know is the only thing they really know.
As we soaked in all the smells, sights and sounds around us, I felt as though I was constantly saying "Vinny, oh my god, look over there or "Vinny, wow, can you believe that". It was like I was a baby fresh out of the womb seeing life for the first time. It's just all so incredible to me. For example, instead of men shaving in the shower (since most don't even have showers here) or going to your local barber shop (which usually consists of four walls, a door and a roof), locals set up a nonchalant station on the street and groom each other, the old school way...
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Or they iron their clothes, the old school way...
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Or they make cotton candy, the old school way...
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Maybe it's old school to us but maybe it's keeping it simple to them. It's all relative I guess.
When we finally made it to Hauz Khas, we aimlessly strolled the Village, soaking it all in. There were shops, restaurants and street food vendors as well as a mosque and a tomb, all built around an urbanized village with medieval history traced to the 13th century. Oh and of course, a Starbucks. As we got lost (in a good way), we came across a back alley that was the most poverty stricken we have seen yet - kids running around with no shoes or even some without pants, trash in the streets, bodies full of dirt - but they were laughing, playing, and entertaining themselves. It was quite refreshing as we are so used to seeing kids with iPhones, iPads, iPods, i this and i that. One of the comments I read over and over again in various blogs is not to feel sorry or sad for the natives because they are so poor - they are happy with what they have as they don't really know any different. I hope this is true.
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It was time for lunch so we made our way back to the main area and dared ourselves to eat street food. We have been told to avoid meat if possible so we did just that. We shared a veggie wrap, which was $1.30 (now that's more like it), and so yummy. My mouth was watering from the different flavors in each bite.
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After the Hauz Khas Village, we took the Metro again, yes again, to the Khan Market. More shops, more restaurants, more people watching. Nothing too exciting but always nice to check out new sites. We had dinner and decided it was time to go home since we had a full day out and about and were quite tired. Instead of hailing down a cab or taking the Metro, we attempted to use Uber. Yep, Uber is in India. Crazy I know but genius. First attempt failed, second attempt failed, third attempt failed - strike three you're out. Better luck next time, I hope.
That's it for today, see you tomorrow!

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