Outside the Lotus Temple in South Delhi a bunch of street vendors had set up camp by the main viewing point all ready to grab the trade from the tourists stopping by to get a photograph. Perhaps it was a little wrong that I was more interested in looking at the food and drink on their carts that at the temple in the distance? Who cares? Well I did just that and I was to discover that this was to be a familiar scene as we travelled across the country.
Getting a drink of fresh coconut
The guy with the fresh coconuts must have been a happy man after we stopped to take photographs of the temple in the distance. Everyone on our coach had one from his stall, and even though there were just 20 rupees each, he must have had a good ten minutes or so trading.
He did have to work quite hard though for his cash, cutting each coconut open so that we could get a drink of that coconut juice. He clearly was pretty well practised as he chopped his way in with a great big sharp knife. It was a little bit of a close your eyes moment as he hacked away with such precision and faith that he was not going to chop his fingers off.
After several hacks he was in, and with two straws we were sharing a drink of juice fresh from the coconut. It was quite refreshing and it almost felt that it was good for me as well. I wasn’t a massive fan though, but many of our group would be drinking from various other coconut stalls for the next week as we travelled.
Indian sweet lime soda
Another common sight is the stalls selling Indian sweet lime soda. This is a combination of fresh lime juice, simple syrup, soda water and salt which I saw everywhere as we drove around. The whole limes seemed to be the way to cover the bottle opening. These small bottles will set you back about 20 Rupees and are very popular.
Nuts and Popcorn
The guy selling nuts and popcorn was doing a pretty good trade as well. He had a big wok type of pan that he was making fresh popcorn in to order. It all looked to be pretty good and so well organised as well. We just had a small bag of the monkey nuts in their shells.
Fresh Fruit to order
It was tempting to have a plate of the freshly chopped up fruit but they do advise tourists to avoid fresh fruit due to hygiene issues, so we did not have any. It did seem a shame though as I watched the stall holder chop up each of these plates in about 5-10 minutes while we were at the roadside stop. I guess you have to take the advice.
I love finding places like this! Sometimes more than the temples and forts that I am supposed to be visiting