Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In Delhi...

I arrived in Delhi after a 14-hr journey from Manali, just one day after the epic journey from Leh to Manali. Quite honestly, I was not looking forward to my trip to Delhi, as I had heard nothing but bad things about the capital city.

Upon my arrival, I was scammed by the first person I met-- the cycle ricksaw driver. The charge was 70 rps (nearly $2 USD) for my ride to Pahar Ganj, the tourist area of Delhi. The ride was 45 mins, OK, fine. I was counting just to make sure the fare was fair. But upon my arrival to what in the end was my hotel, Cottage Ganga Inn, I discovered that the fare should have been 20-30 rps and that the driver had led me around the city via the "scenic route." At least I got my money's worth, I thought to myself.

I decided to splurge on my hotel, paying a whopping 400 rps/night ($10 USD), for by far the nicest hotel I have stayed in in India. It's my last few days here-- what the heck! I have a brand-spanking new TV, a huge bed, fan, and 24-hr hot (who needs it) & cold shower. Best of all, they are trustworthy. My friend Tamar left me a slew of things from Dharamsala a week ago and it's still all there! At least I know that my luggage should be safe for the 10-hrs that I will need to leave it before I catch my flight to Mumbai tomorrow night...

My day in Delhi consisted of a nap, Internet usage, a walk around the shopping districts to get an idea of what the city has to offer-- wow are things cheap here!-- and meeting my friends Fayez and his German wife, Jo, who I befriended in Dharamsala and who were shocked to know that I was in town-- I got the tip from their friend and business partner, Moon, who I had planned on meeting here but was unable to due to Fayez and Jo being in town to obtain a visa to the Netherlands. I have to admit, although I didn't accomplish nearly what I had planned on doing on my first day, I had a wonderful time today... I even had my palm and fortune told by a Yogi! A wonderful experience for my $1.25 that I gave him.

I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by Delhi--shocked, in fact-- and I wish that I had more time here to get a better feeling of the place. I think I could shop here for a week straight. There are so many interesting stores and even more interesting people. Although it is a bit warm at the moment, I would highly recommend to anyone to give Delhi a chance... Everyone and thing deserves one.

Tomorrow I am meeting Fayez and going shopping to get some good deals, then we are meeting Jo for lunch before they set off for home and I set off for Mumbai, where I arrive at midnight thirty. That should be an experience. As should me trying to board a plane with only 30 lbs of weight on-board.

The experiences never stop here... I love it!

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