Sunday, October 2, 2011


I don't have anything smart to say about Delhi so instead I'm going to go for the chuckles.

(1) I packed a little bottle of iced-tea flavoring to add to bottles of water.  This made me feel really clever and when, upon arrival at my hotel, I was presented with a bottle of cold water I triumphantly unwrapped the flavoring and squirted it in.  Unfortunately, the flavoring tasted awful and later that night I had to brush my teeth with iced tea.  Not a success.

(2) I woke up early the next morning, courtesy of jet lag, and ventured out into the city.  I took the metro three stations on my own!  I felt so proud!  I presented my token, let some ladies feel me up behind a ratty curtain and correctly read the signs telling me which direction to go and where to exit.  It's amazing how venturing abroad makes even the smallest accomplishments feel huge.

(3) After wading through waves of irritating, harassing touts I arrived at the state tourism office at 9am, ready to schedule myself a spot on a daily bus tour of the city.  Delhi is so big that I wanted a general lay of the land.  The dour, droopy-eyed concierge assured me that the bus tour, scheduled to begin at 9am, no, 10am, no, 9:30 am, and touring only New Delhi, no, lasting all day and covering all the major sights in Old and New Delhi, was completely booked.  After scolding me for not having booked my bus tour weeks in advance, he asked me if I wanted to take a car tour instead?

(4) I declined the concierge's kind offer and took an auto-rickshaw to the Red Fort.  The Red Fort was gorgeous and epic and a wonder to behold.  But I left to hoof it around Old Delhi and within the space of an hour I'd burned myself red as a beet (forgot to put on sunscreen!), overheated and exhausted myself.  I headed back to my hotel to take a nap at about 3 in the afternoon and then slept until four the next morning, when I woke up and immediately booked myself on a bus to Dharamsala.

(5) I've heard the buses that wind north through the Himalayas are terrifying, but I was never nervous about our driver's competence.  What did totally freak me out were the bumpy roads.  I'd lean my head back against the headrest to doze off and a few minutes later one of the bumps in the road would knock my forehead against the window pretty hard, I'd wake up, and my hair would have been teased into a bee-hive at the back of my head from all the bumping.  So I'd finger-comb my hair smooth again and then doze off until the next pothole had me repeating the process.  By the time I got off the plane, my hair felt stiff and crunchy as though I'd been swimming in the ocean - the accumulation of the day's sweat.  Ugh.

Delhi totally kicked my butt; maybe by the time I return there at the end of my stay I'll be able to handle the chaos, the harassment, the heat and the dirt.  It will be interesting to use my first experience of the city as a benchmark.  So far Dharamsala has been divine, and I'll finish this post with a picture of my view over breakfast, after I checked into my hotel and ventured out for a bite on a nearby terrace:

1 comment:

Melinda said...

More more more!!! Keep posting!