A Little More of Delhi
Trip Start Dec 08, 2008
27Trip End Dec 24, 2008
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So today's goals consisted of going back to that market, buying a ton of cheap stuff for gifts, wall hangings or whatever when we return home. After that, we figured we'd go see one of the main sites in Delhi, being Humayan's tomb
But first on the agenda, after breakfast is to head out and get some of our traveler's checks converted. So that consumes the first hour plus of our time out. Then we tell the driver we want to go to the place where the market is. And that becomes a bit of a problem. Last week we mentioned this market to Dekiva and she'd never heard of it. Then we described it and Binda says that there are all sorts of markets around Delhi that just spring up in the morning, fill the street with stalls, and then disappear at night. So this market we drove through is just one of many, and neither of them know specifically about it, where it is, or what it's called. But that's ok, we figured we could just call the driver from last week and ask him where we were when it happened.
We had the name of a road, so we told this week's driver to go to this road... thinking it would be packed with stalls. But after about 45 minutes of travel across Delhi, we stop and the driver tells us we are at the location requested. Hmmm...
About 30-40 minutes pass and he stops in the car in front of this open-air shopping mall and says that we're here. Uhm.... what? Did I not say it right? I guess I didn't say whatever I was supposed to say to cancel the instructions to go to the market and go the tomb instead. Oh well, we're both hungry, so we decide that since we're here we should go get some food and see what we can find. The food options are a little limited... being a McDonalds, a Subway, a Pizza Hut and a handful of street-type stalls. I really don't want McDonalds or Subway, and we can't be sure about the street food, so Pizza Hut it is. I mean, it's plenty yummy and we're pretty confident about the hygene, so the only downside is people making fun of us for eating pizza hut twice while in India... specially when I generally avoid Pizza Hut when I'm in the states. But whatever. We have a nice lunch then go across the way to a music/video store to look for some movies. We find a couple that we're looking for, they're selection isn't so great. Then we step outside to see what kind of clothing stores we can find, but it's all designer western clothes... and I figure if I've going to buy western clothes made in Malaysia or Thailand, I can do that in Wal-Mart back home. So what else is there around here? And we find another music store that's got some videos... we're browsing through those and find a couple more on our list. Then the guy says there are more hindi movies downstairs. So we go down there and there is a whole wall full of stuff. And this other guy comes over to help us, his english is pretty good, and Rebecca starts just listing off movies on our list and this guy just reaches into the shelf and pulls out the one we name off. After the fifth or sixth time it actually gets kinda funny. He is pretty young, seemed pretty easy-going and his english was pretty good too
We look around some more and don't really find anything, so we call the driver and arrange for a pickup. This time we try to say "Humayan's Tomb" really clearly... he gets it just fine, so I'm not sure what happenned last time. Another 30-40 mintues to head back to near where we were when we started and he dropped us off at the tomb. We paid our entrance fee and headed inside. It's a pretty neat complex. Once of the best parts of is is that they haven't locked off all the stairways that allow you to get to the upper levels. So there is alot more exploring than you get at a lot of monuments. In the first tomb we entered we were on our way out when Rebecca hear a noise (it was really dark inside) and I listened and it sounded like a couple of asian girls talking. We investigated a little and realized they were coming down a stairway that was completely invisible in the darkness, and if they hadn't been coming down we would never have seen it. So we wouldn't have been able to climb up and see the upper deck of this building. We spent a bit of time there, it was really neat, and then Rebecca told me that this wasn't even the real tomb, it was just a side building that was a tomb for somebody else. I'm sure I took a picture of the explaination plaque. But I didn't read of of them because it was getting late in the day and the sun was going down and we wanted to see what we could see before it all closed.
So we made it through the gate building and say the main tomb and I could totally see how this is kinda related to the Taj. I even tried to get a photo that was kinda like the classic Taj photo with the reflection in the water. The actual tomb building has like 2 generations of people in it or something, there are a LOT of tombs inside that building. We didn't get to see it all, just the main tomb for Humayun, his wife and children. The grounds were pretty nice, lots of wonderful birds again. I could totally see coming to this place with a bunch of people and just picnicing all day long... having a bunch of munchie food and some games and books and stuff, and you could run off and explore a building or corner of the grounds, then come back, eat and talk and chill, then head back out and explore some other part of the grounds. Defenitely on the list for our next trip.
After the tomb, we went back and picked up Devika and she instructed the driver to head out to this place called Dilli Hat or something like that. I guess it is a craft bazaar that is trying to get representation from all the various states of India. You actually have to pay admission to get inside. But the place is kept up really well, with lights in the trees and clean walkways and even a little grass in places. There is a food court inside and dozens of vendors booths. We took our time in the first quarter of booths that we saw, then stopped for a bite to eat and Devika introduced us to some kashmiri foods, then we got back out shopping again. And then suddenly we realized the place was closing up. The scheduled close time was 10pm, but everybody started packing up at 9. So we kinda rushed through about a third, but the whole back section was closed by the time we got there. We found a couple of things for Rebecca, but I was mostly looking for some nice outfits for gifts
We kinda ran out of things to look at as everybody was closed, so we made our way back to the driver and caught a ride home. We squared the bill with the company, making sure today's driver got a generous tip (partly for not feeding us to any lions) and a nice big tip for last week's driver as well.
We didn't actually get that much done today, but it felt like a big day anyway. We had a pretty quick dinner then sat down with Devika and Bindu to plan out our last day in India. We really wanted to head up to north Delhi and see the Red Fort and Chandi Chowk (the oldest market in Delhi apparently). But we realized that our priorities consisted of getting the last bits of gifts that had eluded us for the whole trip so far. And it didn't look like we could do both. So we've got a couple more things that are going to need to wait for our next trip to Delhi. And we've got a plan for tomorrow. And with that, we both went downstairs to crash.