A fool and her money are soon parted

New Delhi Travel Blog

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breakfast

Today I did slightly less sightseeing, because I had to work in the morning, but I did make it to two interesting sites:  the Qutb Minar and the Ba’hai Lotus Temple.  I also experimented with hailing tuktuks (i.e. auto-rickshaws) and taxis for the first time, and was subsequently (and easily) fleeced.

 

The Qutb Minar is rather far from the center of Delhi, but worth the drive out there.  The archeological site contains, among other structures, an arresting victory column nearly 1000 years old.  There was also the massive base of a second column that was never completed, plus beautiful colonnades and ruined walls and arches.

Qutb Minar -- tower base that was never completed
  It would be interesting to compare how the architectural styles of the Qutb Minar and those of classical Greece and Rome converge and diverge.  My photos can’t really do it justice.

 

The only thing I didn’t like about the Qutb Minar were the groups of young men who seemed to be wandering aimlessly about, several of whom approached me insistently asking for pictures, whom I tried to politely but firmly brush off.  At another point, a middle aged woman in a brilliant blue sari approached me and helpfully pointed out some angles for photographing the tower, then offered to take some photos of me with my camera.  I went along with this, thinking, “how friendly she is, how nice to help me out like this!”  When she was done, however, she demanded a tip!  OK, so it wasn’t very much that she asked for, but I was internally shaking my head at myself for being rather gullible.

Qutb Minar

 

The Ba’hai Lotus Temple, unlike the other religious sites I’ve been to so far, was extremely new, built only in the mid 80’s.  It’s set in the middle of a huge expanse of lawns, and you approach it down a long walkway which lets you really take in the wonder of the architecture.  It really is shaped like an enormous lotus flower, with sharp, clean lines and rising points that draw your eyes up and up.  Inside it is very austere, just cool marble benches, which draws your attention further to the design of the building itself. 

 

Regarding transportation, I tried and failed to get the textbook fair price for my rides.

You will pay for these photos!
  The first tuktuk drivers I approached refused to use their meters, saying that they were broken, and asked for a flat price to take me to where I wanted to go.  In the end I took a taxi whose driver agreed to use the meter, but who for some reason kept it covered with a handkerchief so that I couldn’t actually see what the meter said!  For the last ride I asked a shopkeeper beforehand what a fair price would be to get me from that place back to my guesthouse, and then quoted that price to the tuktuk driver.  The driver, however, became quite cross and said that while that price might be alright coming, it wasn’t alright going.  I tried to bargain a bit, but in the end I didn’t have the stamina, and just accepted the price he quoted.  Oh, if only Jen were here!  As it is, a fool and her money are soon parted.

tabs_sea says:
Bri-bri!
It does bring back memories of Morocco, my friend. Except that there Andrea and I made YOU do all the negotiations, remember? And so far it has been far less dramatic. 'Member what happened as we tried to cross the border back into Spanish territory?
Posted on: Sep 14, 2008
brianparis says:
Tab,

Diz you have more problems with taxi peoplez? Doez that soundz like our adventur in Morocco ??

Thinking of you. Love the pictures,
Brian
Posted on: Sep 13, 2008
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breakfast
breakfast
Qutb Minar -- tower base that was …
Qutb Minar -- tower base that was…
Qutb Minar
Qutb Minar
You will pay for these photos!
You will pay for these photos!
Qutb Minar
Qutb Minar
Lotus Temple, one of the 9 pools
Lotus Temple, one of the 9 pools
Lotus Temple
Lotus Temple
New Delhi
photo by: peeyushmalhotra