November 18th, 2007 – by: skippyed
After a crappy nightâs sleep on the train as a result of either being woken up by a train flying past my window, smells of bodily emissions or just general movement of people throughout the night, I was ready for a nap in my Delhi hotel. Mickey, our guide, had other ideas and a walking tour of Old Delhi was on the agenda. Breakfast was a disaster as the group had been waiting on the roof terrace nearly an hour for it. I didnât wait, I ended up ordering it in my room in the end, and it was quicker! Our Delhi Hotel âHotel Perfectâ or âNot So Perfectâ as I called it was the worst of all our hotels.
Three of us sat outside the hotel waiting for the group to gather. While waiting, we saw the worst sight; an old man dressed just in ragged white pants and whose torso was completely covered in skin tags, some the size of tiny balloons. It looked like someone had pinned tiny balloons on his body! Poor bloke I felt sorry for him. A couple of the girls couldnât stand it and shot back inside the hotel. Once the group had gathered, we took tuk-tuks to Old Delhi. Old Delhi was noisy, dirty and very busy. We wondered through the alleyways being careful not to be knocked down by bicycle rickshaws carrying tourists. It certainly wasnât a relaxing walk as you had to keep your wits about you. We stopped occasionally to watch sweet snacks being made or listen to Mickey explain what a building was for. What caught my eye was the wiring, I had seen it in photos but you had to see it with your own eyes to really believe it! The power cables were just a mesh of spaghetti clumped onto power poles then strewn as a knotted mess across the streets.
Power lines in Old Delhi
Iâm amazed that power gets through these wires at all. After an hour or so of wandering old Delhi, we had free time. Everyone opted to see the Red Fort which was just across the road. I tagged along but as soon as I saw the line to get in and the crowds I changed my mind. Instead I decided to go to Connaught Place, have lunch and try to find my hubby a present. No sooner had I headed back out the Red Fort gates that I was descended upon by Rickshaw drivers. I asked the price and was told 100 rupees, I had no idea how far or how much it was to Connaught Place and Mickey wasnât around to do the hard work for me! I bartered down to 80 rupees and the moment I got on the rickshaw I realised it was a tout I bartered with. He whispered something in the Rickshaw manâs ears which I could only guess was get more money out of her! The ride was pleasant but further than I thought and every now and then Mr Rickshaw man looked back and told me âlong way missy cost more than 80 rupeesâ yeah so I was right.
How power gets through this mess I never know!
I panicked a bit when he dropped me off at some junction that I didnât recognise as Connaught Place so I asked a nearby policeman. Mr Rickshaw tried to get 200 rupees out of me, I said no but gave him 100 instead as he had pedalled his legs a fair way! Once I found myself in the inner circle of Connaught Place, I had lunch, walked around for a while before heading back to the hotel using the Metro. The Metro is excellent, so clean, efficient and easy to use but the Indians are yet to still master Metro etiquette! They havenât quite grasped the concept of waiting for people to get off the train before trying to get on. The scene is quite amusing; they look like two herds of sheep coming from opposite directions all trying to get through the gate at the same time!! When I got off at Karol Bagh, I didnât know how to get to the hotel and had to ring Mickey for directions! He ended up coming and fetching me in the end! In the evening we all headed to Connaught Place for our final group meal.
It works! Old Delhi
Outside of Red Fort