Smelly Delhi

Trip Start Feb 04, 2007
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Trip End Mar 09, 2008


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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Wow, everything we had heard about India really is true....  But it is all in Delhi.  The incessant noise, heavy pollution, overpowering smells, non-stop touts, piles of garbage (which are lovingly swept into large mounds every morning - just so they can blow down the street during the day), and the hassle!  On our first day we had to escape to our room just to get away from it all.  It really is a sensory overload. 

After our 17 hour train journey from Mumbai, we arrived in Delhi on a typical hazy morning and were greeted by 325 taxi drivers all with a brother-in-law selling carpets/ pottery/ tours/ giant balloons/ counterfeit luggage/ you-name-it.  And elastic band powered helicopters - perfect for the traveller.

The first day of one's trip to delhi is consumed with plans for how to get out of Delhi with a minimum of skin contact with Delhi's many grimy surfaces - and made all the more impressive by every one of Delhi's 18m residents wanting to vigorously shake hands with the white person and ask sincerely if you are, indeed, Ricky Ponting. Even Claudie has started saying yes.

Our second day was considerably better - the Presidental Palace (and no, there's no President, an irony not appreciated by taxi drivers keen to hustle you into their uncle's Kashmiri gift shop), the parliament buildings and the magnificent 3km avenue that is the Rajpath was imprressive. Equally impressive was watching a quite well dressed government employee casually taking a wazz on the side of their parliamtn house in full view of visitors, security and a visiting delegation from Bhutan. The purest form of democracy is one that you can piss upon - how much we have lost our freedom's in the West. Also brilliant was that there is a colony of 20+ monkeys living and frolicking on the roof of the Parliament.

The Red Fort is also spectacular - above and beyond what any book could have led you to expect. Seeking lunch afterwards (with Jim, an archaeologist from the US we met there), we found dining tricky as we wandered for 2 hours through the backstreets of "true india"... it was like a movie scene, only dirtier - and even hollywood couldnt have afforded to pay that many extras.  We went through the paper district, the car parts district, taps and handles district... every district bar the food district. After 2 hrs we found one restaurant, but unfortunately the adjacent shop was doign a brisk trade in severed goats heads, and we couldnt help but feel that this was going to find its way into our meal. It was also commendable that the butcher district managed to soldier on without any recourse to refrigeration. Those heads probably fly off the shelves. 

No photos. Computer is Win 3.11 and has no USB ports. Didnt think of that one. But we brought the cable. 

Now to find ourselves a trip to Agra. 
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