2005 #2:Genesis in Delhi

Well, I made it to India. I was very lucky and got to sit beside a Canadian diplomat on the plane. She was very nice and very helpful. I now have in my possession a list of the most fabulous markets, etc, in Delhi, who runs them and how to elicit the best service from them as far as being a female foreigner goes. We yakked all the way over, so the plane ride seemed fairly short.

The plane was actually nicer than the one to Bangkok – more leg room, better movie screen and the hostesses were very pleasant, unlike the first lot who were a bit snooty. I managed to add to my collection of plane-ware – a facecloth, another glass, and some more cutlery. Funny how these things fall off the little table thing and land in one’s bag.

After being regaled with horror stories about Delhi traffic by this diplomat who spoke from vast amounts of experience, I also took advantage of the fact that they had run out of chicken dinners by the time they got to us, and seriously tested out their brandy bottle. They were so apologetic about the food that I got away with a reasonable amount of alcohol.

Once I got into the traffic, I was very glad I had done so.

The airport was less horrific than the Bangkok one. Fairly straight forward. Wait in this line here. In 15 minutes, shuffle forward 2 feet. Wait 15 minutes. Shuffle forward another 2 feet. Etc. Fortunately I took this woman’s advice and as soon as the plane stopped, made a run for it. There was a very long line of very hot and tired people behind me. I felt for them, but hey – I was hot and tired also and it is, after all, a dog eat dog world.

Once through all the lines, bored and dangerous looking customs people and assorted hangers around with guns and shiny boots and important looks on their faces, I got through the crowd and saw Paul. What a sight for sore eyes!!! I was so glad to see him.

And compared to Bangkok, the sauna in Delhi is on high! Unbelievable. You sort of gasp when it hits you – it’s like a moist hot wall of air.

The taxi ride was pretty entertaining. Beeping and swerving, screeching of brakes and a very loud stereo playing what is probably top of the pops in India. Thank God for brandy…did I mention the brandy?  The taxi was a Morris Oxford (Ambassador) windscreen was cracked and the dashboard had white fluffy something on it. Very groovy and quite humorous.

We got to the hotel (I say that word with tongue in cheek – no more comment), we went up onto the rooftop and hung out there eating fruit salad. I saw a bird of a decent size flying overhead. When I asked Paul what kind of bird it was, he said “Bat”. First one I’ve ever seen, and quite a lot bigger than I expected.

This morning we went back onto the rooftop and had breakfast. They’d run out of croissants so I had fried rice. Yum. Today is Independence Day and the sky is full of kites. We have a brilliant view of people all over the place on their rooftops flying kites. It looks great. I feel a little sorry for the birds at the moment – the airspace is downright dangerous. There also appears to be a stereo competition happening, so there’s music coming from all directions and it’s not necessarily complimentary. But it all looks like a heck of a lot of fun.

Looking down at the wall across from us, I saw a lizard of rather a healthy size climbing up and down the wall, investigating cracks and window grates. I just watched him for a while then told Paul about it and it turns out that it was bigger than the norm. So I’m now kicking myself for not getting my camera out. Maybe he’ll be there tomorrow.

Down below, some local cows are having a bit of a hui. I haven’t seen any close up yet. Looking forward to meeting some.

I have tried an Indian toilet out and survived. They’re right – it ain’t glamorous. Enough said.

At the moment, we’re sitting in yet another air-conditioned cybercafe. So nice after the heat outside. Although it’s not as hot today as it was last night. The street is fairly quiet compared to usual, so that gives me a chance to learn the art of street walking without ending up under a rickshaw. We’ll probably just wander around and do some looking today, as many things are closed due to Independence Day. Tonight we will go to another rooftop and try the restaurant called Metropolis and eat some Indian food. Yum. (The one on our rooftop is Thai and Italian.)

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