One last day in Delhi
New Delhi Travel Blog› entry 1 of 17 › view all entries
It's just a quick stop in Delhi this time - the Indian visa is one day off dying so I'm making a mad dash for the Nepali border. It's always good to be back here though, even just for a day.
I turn up on the bus from Bhunter at 6am cramped, hot, and covered head to toe in mozzie bites. I'm in no state to deal with the swarms of rickshaw drivers who flock round the bus before the wheels have even stopped turning, and end up being horribly rude to all of them before finally managing to agree on a price and head for the Paharganj. I stumble into the reception of Yes Please Guest House, collapse on a sofa and start coughing my lungs up.
"Ah!" they say brightly, "Paravati valley, no?"
Delhi is absolutely boiling. Even with the fan on full my tiny room is too hot to breathe in - I have to keep pouring jugs of water over myself while I lie on the bed reading and recovering from the bus ride. It's so hot I'm almost tempted to just stay in my room all day, but this is my last full day in India for quite a while and it would be criminal to waste it like that.
I book my bus to Kathmandu for the next day, then go back to the rooftop restaurant I ate in with Kev for our first meal in India. I expect memories to start flooding back with frightening intensity, but I'm surprised how little I feel. November feels like a million years ago, and I'm a completely different person now. I remember how I sat here the first time, taking photos of things in the street like women with baskets on their heads. It's hard to believe these things were once so fascinating. Of course they have baskets on their heads, where the hell else would they carry them??
I spend the rest of the day skipping up and down Main Bazaar, enjoying the colour and dirt and commotion as much as ever. It's nice having nothing to do and no reason to hurry in a place like this - I stop and talk to everyone who says hello to me. In the space of about an hour I am given a free 30 minute drum lesson, invited on a road trip to Amritsar, forced to eat two whole cucumbers by an over-enthusiastic shoe salesman, and renamed Lela. I love India.
By about 5 I am too tired to walk anywhere any more, and drag myself back to my room to smoke a few bongs. As I blow out the smoke from about the third, there's a loud banging on the door. Shit. I leap up too quickly, collapse against the wall, swear loudly, shove the bong behind the door, pull it open and nearly fall right on top of the hotel staff member standing outside. I steady myself on the bedside table and ask what's the matter.
"I need to check this room."
I sit on the bed and silently panic as he goes into the bathroom. I've always assumed I can smoke anywhere I like in India, but it looks like my luck's finally run out. Will they just kick me out I wonder, or do something more serious? Weed paranoia kicks in hard, and I start contemplating the possibilites. They could easily threaten to call the police, and demand money to stop them. Would they do that? They seem so nice, but you never know. Why is he taking so long in the bathroom? He must be doing a pretty thorough check. There's no way he's not gonna find the bong when he starts checking in here. Though why is he checking the bathroom first? My head is spinning. Finally he comes out.
"I check" he says. "Water not working".
Relief floods through me as he walks back towards the door. Of course, this is India, they don't give a shit where you smoke. I'm an idiot. As he reaches the door he stops, sniffs the air, and grins broadly at me.
"Ah!" he says brightly. "Paravati valley, no?"
I sleep for about 14 hours, and the next day I'm on a bus to Nepal.