Delhi day 2

21 Nov

Today was by far the “real” Delhi experience. Our day started off with an argument with Rampel over going to Old Delhi and Jama Masjid. Yesterday, he reminded us the Muslim call to prayer is noon to 1:45pm, therefore he suggested we wait to go until 2pm. We agreed, but then this morning he said “no we go tomorrow” but no, we wanted to go today because knew it was open and we dressed accordingly. Rampel reluctantly gave in, but first took us on a quiet, peaceful tour around Qila Rai Pithora, the first city of Delhi. What a tease…

The next stop was to the Qutub Minar, which is a world heritage site and the tallest minaret in India. We were literally flocked by mass amounts of school children who apparently had no supervision and looked like they had never seen white or Asian people before. Now we know what celebrities must feel like, because for the rest of the day, especially later in old Delhi, James begged me to keep my hair wrapped up and my sunglasses on to avoid stares and kids asking us “one photo please”. Fortunately, there is still corporal punishment here, because we saw at least three kids get backhanded for climbing on the ruins, hounding us for pictures, and fighting.

We climbed back in the bus and begged Rampel to book it to Old Delhi and the Jama Masjid ‘world-reflecting mosque’. On our way, Rampel thought we might like to see Safdarjangs tomb, which is basically a poorly maintained, less popular version of Humayan’s Tomb.

Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India and the biggest scam too. Everyone must remove their shoes, but if you leave them with the attendant be sure and be ready to tip. We opted to carry ours. Then a man fines you for bringing in a camera, even a phone, and gives you a ticket to carry. This fine is very loose at all other places we visited but heavily enforced at the mosque. Walking into the mosque, another man wrapped us in unwanted, colored bed sheets that smelled and looked like they had never been washed. Clearly this was a rip off since only foreigners were wearing the sheets and other indians who wore jeans and t-shirts were not reprimanded. Obviously I was furious about all this and couldn’t wait to get out of there, without tipping anyone.

Rampel was kind enough to organize a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi for Rs. 150 or $2.93 usd. And thank god he did because walking and driving around old Delhi is to certainly tempt fate in the narrow roads and tiny back ally ways. I’m positive we must have hit about 3 people walking because one lady even smacked our driver. Luckily, we made it out okay, feeling seriously grateful for the luxuries we have, and significantly less hungry.

Our final stop of the day was Ghandi’s memorial park. We were hesitant to go inside when we saw a large school group exit, but Rampel assured us everything would be fine. We refused to take of our shoes again and therefore only got an aerial shot of the memorial, but we were still nursing our tempers.

After such a traumatizing day, we indulged ourselves at Punjabi by Nature where happy hour was 2for1 beers and non-spicy really means “lets make my face sweat with a side of heartburn”. 🙂

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Qutub Minar

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Safdarjang’s Tomb

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Qila Rai Pithora, the first city of Delhi

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Jama Masjid (I was really close to losing it here)

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Chicken anyone?

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Nap time in the middle of the street

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Feasting at Punjabi by Nature

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Sheep

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Stray dogs sleeing

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2 Responses to “Delhi day 2”

  1. Michael J. Holubowich November 21, 2011 at 7:36 PM #

    Hey Guys, It sounds like you having one heckuva trip. The best thing about your travels is that you really can get a feeling about how these people live, without the help of tourist brochures. Your experience in India will be one for the record books. Take care and enjoy!!! P.S. Your travel log is wonderful.

  2. Pamela O'Connor November 21, 2011 at 10:18 PM #

    Your trip log covers it all. I feel like I’m actually riding along with you. Your blog is educational as well as very down to earth especially with all the cultural encounters regarding the people looking for tips for no matter what reason. You’re actually experiencing the feeling of BEYOND how these people live . . . actually living among them and seeing things from their perspective. Stay Safe.

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