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The adventures of the Mel

Hanging in Delhi

INDIA | Friday, 29 January 2010 | Views [1320] | Comments [3]

I’m lying in bed feeling quite sorry for myself as I have conveniently contracted a ripper cold at the end of my trip. On the bright side, I decided to hang in Delhi for my final days and attempt to get some work done before I start my new role on Wednesday, so it’s not affecting my travelling. On the downside….my workload hasn’t changed but the time is dwindling. Sigh.

 

The hotel I am staying at is just wonderful. After the complete crap-ness that is the PARAS hotel in Karol Bagh (a suburb of Delhi) this has been a breath of fresh air. Only figuratively of course, because that is one thing that Delhi certainly does not have!

 

I am pleased to report that I no longer dislike Delhi, it’s just not a great city. Heaven forbid anybody should judge India by its capital (guess we could probably say the same for Australia, no? ;) ).

 

We took another overnight train from Udaipur to Delhi, this time we were separated out rather than being all together. Sarah and I were on our own (from the tour perspective) in a different carriage to the rest. It worked out fine though – a brother sister pair originally from Bombay but now living in Texas adopted us and took care of us throughout the part of the trip that we were awake. Young men roamed the corridors selling dinner, snacks, tea….I don’t think I’ll ever get the voice of one young boy who sounded like he was 50; “Chai…..chai…..chai…..” We slept fairly well, though I really noticed a cultural difference in terms of what volume it is acceptable to talk when other people are sleeping. It is hard to not get frustrated when people behave in a manner that you would normally consider very rude (particularly when you’ve been woken up by said manner) and I was constantly reminding myself of cultural differences. It helped to liken it to eating with your left hand – a big no no here, but perfectly acceptable at home. Still, you know what I’m like if I haven’t had enough sleep….

 

After arriving about 6 hours late (nothing like 18 hours on a train – my flights home will be shorter!!) we checked into the crappy PARAS then went out for a gorgeous lunch at a local restaurant where they serve unlimited thalis – a plate of mixed dishes with some rice and bread. The white-clad waiters continually came around and topped up your rice and offered other tidbits till you had your fill.

 

Afterwards was a spot of afternoon shopping at the Karol Bagh markets. These local markets had only a spattering of tourists weaving amongst the raucous mass haggling and moving forward like lava on a slight incline. The main strip was traffic free and there were also no cows, so it was a little novel. 

 

All of a sudden it was time to farewell Anna. It crept up on us and was the beginning of the sad farewells. Hugs and kisses were exchanged and she was whisked away to the airport, leaving a small emptiness behind. We glumly went upstairs and went to bed – though not before watching some riveting TV in Norm and Sarah’s room.

 

The next day I am pleased to say we all got up and did something! Woot! After a breakfast where we farewelled Paddy, most of us went out to see Humayan’s Tomb, which bears a remarkable resemblance to the Taj Mahal, except that this time the widow had it built. And it’s red. Whatever. It was beautiful though, and quite a pleasant afternoon considering it was a group outing after the tour was finished. We got on the Metro, which was surprisingly clean and quick (quite crowded though), and then tuk-tukked our way to the tomb. It was lovely and peaceful; locals and tourists sprawled over the green lawns, some playing ball games, others just relaxing. It had other ‘lesser’ tombs; I think in all the complex had over 100 people entombed.

 

Afterwards we headed back to Karol Bagh and to a restaurant where we sat down and drank and ate until it was time for everybody (just about) to leave. Sarah, Norm, Ian and Meg flitted off to the airport, leaving Vanessa and I feeling somewhat lonely. I went to her room for a little whilst she packed – but then we said goodbye too – her flight left at 6:30am.

 

And here I am. I fly home in 2 days time and I will be home in 3. At least I have a nice hotel with a wonderful burning hot shower with great pressure and 24 hour hot water, wifi, room service….ahhhh. If I could only just kick this cold then it would be even better.

 

Anyway, will catch you all very soon!!

 

XXXX

 

Humayan’s Tomb photos

 

Comments

1

Gosh your trip has gone quickly.

I really was sitting here reading with a muffin in my left hand - talk about giving me an ewww moment as I thought about it! Yes, your aunt is a dag.

  Sally Jan 29, 2010 10:21 PM

2

Hi Mel,

I'm glad the post-PARAS hotel went well (remind me, what is it called?). Our early morning drive to the airport in densest fog I ever remember was a nightmare and not surprisingly the plane was hours late leaving Delhi, but Emirates held up the connecting flight in Dubai, for only seven of us, so we got back to UK OK. The cultural re-alignment to England continues and I am sorting through my 900 photos; thank goodness I no longer have to work for a living...

Thanks for the blog, its a good read.

Nigel & Mercedes

  Nigel Feb 3, 2010 2:37 AM

3

P.S. There's a slight technical hitch at the top of the "Hanging in Delhi" page.

  Nigel Feb 3, 2010 2:39 AM

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