New Delhi, New Adventure

New Delhi Travel Blog

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London Heathrow Terminal 4.
Technically Wednesday 30th June but it was all just one long day for me. MY dad dropped me off at the airport at 4 so I had like a casual 5 hours to kill. That's nothing in India terms, so it was good practice. So was the amount of people in terminal 4, who seemed to be like half the population of India. However, it was not India. It was organised, and clean, so clean I could have eaten my dinner of the toilet floor, and the boarding of the plane was early. Goodbye sense of time, hello chaos.
The flight was pretty standard, I was wedged in the middle of those '4 in a row' seats because I forgot to ask for a window seat so I missed out on the awesome sunset. The guy next to me took up loads of room and proper overlapped onto my seat, but not so much I had to pleat like in the Vietnam days (Pleating was what me and Livia used to describe being wedged up so much in a bus that you had to tilt sideways so one shoulder was forward and the other rested against the backrest... forming a pleat shape like with a skirt or something). I still nudged him a good few times and 'accidently' coughed really loud when I needed the toilet and he was asleep. I should have just done it the Indian way and BARGED past him.
We got to Delhi airspace about 30 minutes early but couldn't land so went half way to Agra and back (the cool map thing said) and then circled for ages and I had to get the sick bag out but landed just in time (for me not being sick, not the actual flight which was now half an hour late) I whizzed through immigration without questions about why my passport looks like it's been regurgitated by a dog, and no 2 hour long questioning of where I was going and what I was doing for the next lifetime. I'd organised a hotel pick-up and the driver was this nice man called Ti To (obviously spelt that wrong...) who I thinkg I offended when he told me guess his age and I said 30 (being nice because I thought he was older) but he was only 24. Whoops.
Driving into Delhi was madness. It was like Vietnamese driving but with waaaay more cars turning a 2 lane road into a 5 lane road and just generally a lot more crazy. All the sidewalk was being dug up, literally ALL the way into the centre (they're trying to make it nice for the commonwealth games but I think they've bitten off more roti than is chewable. And that's alot of roti).Soon there was just people and cars everywhere, there was also some homes on the side of the road made from plastic sheeting and like, twigs.

Then we got to Pahar Ganj. At first I didn't know why were were driving through a kids sandpit, but then I saw all the wires dangling everywhere and I knew health and safety regulators would be onto them if this was a playground. Oh wait, it's India. There is no health and safety. Anyways, it was indeed the road and Te-To said I didn't need my seatbelt anymore even though we basically did a flip over a pile of rubble. We stopped at the market/rubble/dust/wire bit and I almost knocked some ting kid over when I opened the door and then almost knocked myself over because it was SOOOO hot!! Like 40 C. ARHHH! Obviously my hotel was down some grim alleyway with a nation of flies and someone almost pissing on my feet. The hotel guy was really nice and spoke english quicker than me. He got this little kid to show me my room and he tried to carry my bag and I was like "nooo!" he was so small and should be in school. The room was alright, the bathroom is dire. There was DUST on the toilet seat. I mean, I know it's dusty everywhere outside, but it looked like it hadn't been cleaned in a decade. I didn't get air con because I'm a cheap ass so instead I got this massive bloody noisy box thing 'India's largest selling cooler'. Large alright.

I was so tired I fell asleep until like 3. Then decided to be brave and face the world. And the heat. I walked down the road and it's actually dust. And people 'building' i.e. knocking down everything. I don't know how people could drive motorbikes because I couldn't even walk properly. Of course, everyone knew where I did and didn't want to go, and that I was incapable of walking 5 minutes down the road "No miss, you not want to go there, nothing to see". Well excuseeee me, but I think I just found masses of food, greedy guts. At least there's none of that "Mister, mister' instead of "miss" nonsense. Yet. Maybe i just don't look like a bloke anymore. So yeah, it was just crazy and I hated not knowing the language because then I couldn't respond and make them laugh so they'd leave me alone. I need to learn the Hindi version of 'jalan-jalan' (just walking). God people, I just like to wonder aimlessly when I get to a knew place!

Later on I went to this cafe called Madan because it was the only decent looking place, which I now know all the Westerners o to since it's in the Lonely Planet. Even so it was still quite cheap, 30Rs for a thali which was like different vegetarian dishes with rice and chapati/roti whatever you want to call it. Some old couple were messing about with their table swapping and there was no more room so I asked some guy if I could sit with him. He's called Suj, and he's from Birmingham and studies in London. He's only been here a couple of days too so it was nice to chat to someone new as well. We then walked for a bit and it's even crazier in the dark. He pointed out his hotel which is only 150Rs/night so I'm going to move there tomorrow and we've arranged to meet and go somewhere.
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New Delhi
photo by: peeyushmalhotra