First few days in Delhi
04.05.2010 - 08.05.2010 43 °C
Oh my gosh, Delhi is an explosion of sensations!
The first thing that hits you is the heat, I arrived at 11am and it was already 37 degrees; with the past couple of days rising well up into the 40's. The next thing is the noise, everyone shouts, all cars, motor-bikes and auto-rickashaws honk their horns every two seconds, there is just a constant background noise of horns in this city. Everyone blasts the latest bollywood song out of their vehical, shop or house. The whole city appears to be a bit of a construction site, as it prepairs for the commonwealth games in Oct 2010, aiming to get much of the work completed before the summer monsoon. Then there are the mosques dotted all round the, which compete with one another for the loudest call to prayer. Followed by the smell, the spices of the street food, of animals on the roadside, of open latrines and pollution. Finally it's the sight of so much poverty juxterposed with the wealth of colour and jewellery. Compared to Slum Dog Millionaire, it doesn't actually look so bad, but there are a lot of temporary shacks up everywhere, children and disabled people begging. But then a second later you pass the women in their sari's full of colour- they are so beautiful.
Driving back to the hotel from the airport, well really racing back, competing in the final of Delhi Wacky races. With auto-rickashaws (india's answer to the tuk-tuk), cycle-rickashaws, motor-bikes, cars, buses and horse-drawn carts, racing along four vehicals wide in a two lane road, weaving in and out of lanes. I must say though that I have not (as of yet) witnessed one crash; saying that I've not yet seen a vehical free of scratches or dents.
Though I am pleased I've seen the city, I am eager for the tour to start. The city is very dirty, polluted and it feels unsafe. I have taken to paying for an auto-rickashaw to take me the distance of a five min walk, as I get followed and harrassed at every courner. There are no street signs here, and it is very easy to get lost- not the best idea when traveling as a loan western women. Even once I'm inside a 'tourist site' I get starred at, I have counted a total of eight white people in the entire time I've been here (excluding the plane). I am the only westerner at the hotel, only Chinese and Indian families are staying here, which I admit has made it kind of lonely.
Oh well, it's thrown me in at the deep end, which is always good, and I knew would be the case. Though it will be nice to have the security and company of a tour tomorrow.
(P.S I'm annoyed at the election result!!! After working so hard in Hereford, I can't belive the Tory's got in. Oh well, could be worse, could have been a Tory out right win. It also means I'm able to miss the post-election squabbles)