Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Delhi

We have been in Delhi, now for 3 days.  We are in a nice hotel in the western part of town, about 35 minutes from the town center. There is a metro stop very close to the hotel, so we have ridden the metro a few times.  It’s easy to use, but I have to buy tokens every time we ride.  The fare is different for each stop, so we have to tell them where we are going.  You can buy a card, for 3 days, but it’s 300 rupees, and so far the most we’ve spent for one trip is 38 rupees, so it just wouldn’t pay. The rupee is about 2 cents (US) so the metro is pretty inexpensive.
The people here are so very nice, polite and helpful.  They put their hands together as if to pray and bow slightly every time they greet you. They smile all the time and are always wanting to help.  Here in the hotel they are helpful and friendly, but the taxi drivers and auto rickshaw drivers outside can get a bit annoying. Still we’ve seen that in other places.  You just have to keep walking and saying no, if you want to be left alone.
On our first day here we rode the metro to a mall 3 stops away. We both needed haircuts, so we found a unisex solon and both got our haircut.  I think we went back to the same mall the next day. This time I bought two tops—kurti, I think they are called.  Women here mostly wear Salwar Kameez, which are baggy pants with a long tunic to over them.  So I bought a couple long tunic tops to wear over my black knit pants.  I might buy myself a whole salwar kameez set if I find an affordable one that I like. I’ve also seen beautiful saris, of course.
Today we rode the metro into the city center, found the government ministry building where Jim had a meeting and then split up.  I planned to walk to another area where I thought I’d find some handicraft shops.  Our plans changed when I came to a traffic circle that I couldn’t get across.  The circle had no lights, no crosswalks and no pedestrian lights.  It just wasn’t possible to get where I was headed.  This is the first time I’ve run into this problem.  A kind auto-rickshaw driver helped me get across the street and then I let him drive me to the shop I was looking for and back to meet Jim.  He was very nice and after we picked up Jim he took us to see the president’s palace, which is a huge building reminding me a bit of Buckingham Palace, surrounded by a fancy fence, that kept everyone at a distance.  Then he took us to a large Hindu temple.  We were requested to remove our shoes and leave our cell phones and cameras in a locker.  So I couldn’t take any pictures inside.  I was disappointed in that, but I guess it’s considered offensive, so we have to respect their values.

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The presidents’ palace from the gate.

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The same, but with my zoom lens.

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One of the gates and pillars.

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Entrance to the Laxmi Narayan temple.  If you want a better picture, try Wikipedia or the web.

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The mall where we had a coffee on this terrace.  In the background you see the main entrance, though that’s not the entrance we used, which was the one closest to the metro station.

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And finally, our hotel.  They are setting up for a wedding reception here.  The temperature here is very pleasant right now. It’s been in the low 60’s (F) every day, with no rain in the forecast. We’ve been comfortable in light jackets or sweaters.

We’ve been eating Indian food, which is delicious.  We’ve tried several different dishes and enjoyed all of them.  Menus mostly have English on them, which makes it easier.  (We didn’t often find that in Osaka.) We can get a free drink and snacks in the evening after 6:30, so we’ve been eating a big meal at lunchtime and snacking for dinner.  The snacks have been 4 different hot dishes and a few cold things—plenty for a light  supper.
Well, it’s about time to head down to the snack bar, so that’s going to be it for today.

4 comments:

LRae said...

Hi Ceci,
I'm so enjoying your travels! This post was especially timely as Don and I will be in Delhi in March. Wouldn't that have been fun if we were there at the same time! Will you be going to see the Taj Mahal? That is going to be a highlight for me. Glad to hear the food is quite delicious too!
Linda

Cécile said...

Linda, that really would have been fun. Yes we plan a trip to Agra next week. We're finding Delhi challenging so far. I'll email you more later.

Thanks for the kind comment.

Ceci

mariancolman said...

I, too, have enjoyed your Delhi posts Ceci. We were in India a year ago with National Geographic. We didn't spend much time in Delhi, but your photos and descriptions are evoking great memories for me of a diverse and very culturally rich country. Are you going to visit any other cities in Inda? We were in Mumbai, Banglaore, Varanasi and Kaziranga, a national park in the northeast corner of the country.
Looking forward to seeing where you go next!

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