An extraordinary day in the Delhis — Old, New and In-Between.
We started our tour at 8 a.m. and didnt stop until 5. We had no sense of time passing, but we had great views of people passing. I was fascinated by David’s fearlessness. He sat down with a snake charmer and played with the snakes before I could stop him. He also managed some very difficult images well, including a woman who showed us how her tongue was missing.
We loved seeing the memorial to Mahatma Ghandi, as well as the great Moghul architecture at Humayun’s tomb — which is a bit of a preview for the Taj Mahal (tomorrow’s destination). We escaped the heat inside the National Museum, where the school children found us more interesting than the exhibits. Spectacular lunch at Pindi which is clearly where all the tourists go to find food fit for our Western bellies. You’ve got to be so careful to avoid Delhi Belly here — which you can pick up from a cup washed in dirty water. Delhi is greatly improved since I visited in 1989. Back then, cattle and elephants were on every street and the poverty was inescapable. This time, the traffic is less chaotic and the poverty is in pockets.
For some incompresnsible reason, I booked our first two night’s hotel in the backpacker district. Perhaps this was an unconscious homage to my 1989 trip. Actually, this area was too fancy for my boyfriend and I then, so we stayed at the YMCA without air conditioning!
David and I are very much looking forward to the swimming pool at our hotel in Agra tomorrow. The temps this time of year can reach 50-degrees Celcuis with humidity. Fortunately, today hovered around 38-degrees with cloud cover. We also had the great luxury of an air-conditioned van with a superb tour guide, Mr. Dharamveer, and driver, Mr. Harishankar.
We’re back in our hotel room now, watching Bollywood-style MTV, and considering room service. Even though our day wasn’t as shocking or upsetting as I feared, it was challenging. Looking deep into a woman’s tongue-less mouth, while fascinating, does make one want to take cover for the night.
P.S. All photos taken with my new camera!