While in northern India we hired a car and driver (that’s Laxman with his back to the camera) to take us from site to site, town to town.

The first day of the drive he pulled into a tourist restaurant complex on the side of the highway for us to have some lunch. It was a bland, banal affair with jacked up prices and toned down food. We got back in the car after lunch and asked him not to stop at places like this again. We agreed that each day we would stop for breakfast and lunch at spots that he, personally, would usually stop at.

This turned out to be a decision that showed us the ‘local’ way of life but also mostly had us wondering when, not if, we would be sick.

This was a typical afternoon stop at a chai-wallah, or Indian tea, stand. It was as dirty as you imagine it to be; my only solace being that the milk and tea were heated to beyond boiling. We may have burned our fingers endlessly trying to hold the tiny, hot, glass cups and our tongues on the scalding liquid but we never, ever, got Delhi Belly.