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Monday 7th September

I slept until 8:00, which was late, and had a large breakfast: half a grapefruit, cornflakes, toast and coffee. Then I packed and went to the post office, which took ages. Robert, Ben's uncle, kindly took me to the airport. I was almost resigned to the inevitable problems there.

I was called back from the departure lounge and told I hadn't paid enough for my ticket! How does this work? You go to the airline office, state the date and destination, show them you passport, they issue a ticket for which you pay and then within days they say it was the wrong price (always to low!). Don't they know how much to charge for their on tickets? Well they wanted $24, which I didn't have. They asked to see my passport again. Occupation "student". It seems all was OK, the ticket office had given me student discount and my passport said I was a student. So there was no problem. Actually the passport was issued while I was a student, but now I wasn't - but no one had asked me and I hadn't known that I was getting student discount. In the circumstances I thought it best to keep quiet.

Tuesday 8th September

The night was hot. I think it was the hottest yet, or maybe it is the design of the more modern hotel. Breakfast was not inspiring. I wondered how much it was costing me. This is the only "proper" hotel I've stayed in.

I went into the city by rickshaw and my first visit was to the Golden Temple. This time more appropriately attired. Shoes off, through the flowing footbath and once again into the peaceful, calm sanctuary with music and singing quietly audible in the background. The temple guards (or wardens?) walk around looking impressive and imposing in their tunics, turbans and swords. Some posed for me to photograph.

GT GuardsGuards at Golden Temple posing for photo