Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Delhi- The Ultimate Gong Show

Arriving in Delhi is like being thrown into a spin-cycle, where you're not sure which way is up. You are constantly distracted by the mayhem taking place around you. There are literally people everywhere, doing any number of entertaining things. More cars, rickshaws, scooters, cows, monkeys, buses are jammed into the roadways than seems possible. Anything you could possibly need is for sale at road side stands. The poverty is alarming, and shocking, but not really out of proportion with other countries I have traveled, just on a more populated scale. 

We arrived in Delhi at night, grabbed a cab and were on our way to our hotel- or so we thought. Our driver spoke just enough English to tell us that he didn't speak English, didn't know where our hotel was, and demanded the hotel's number- which of course we didn't have. By some stroke of luck, and with the help of our crappy Lonely Planet map of Delhi- we eventually made it to our hotel. After checking in we commandeered the closest tuk tuk driver, and headed towards Connaught Place the closest shopping area. Navigating local transportation is one of my favourite things about traveling! I love bickering about the price, and you get such a different feel for a city.

Safety was never an issue for us. I actually never felt unsafe the entire time we were in India. In India the average Indian man is 5'2" and maybe 100lbs soaking wet. Not super intimidating. Now granted if a group of 10 of em swarmed us we might have had a problem, but this never happened. We were also very fortunate to never have anything stolen. My travel luck has definitely improved from my earlier travel years!!!

The morning of our 2nd day in Delhi we met up with the tour that we had arranged to take is to Agra and Jaipur. Our tour guide, and driver took us to one of the main markets in Delhi. We walked to market, and drew a lot of attention, as it appeared that the vast majority of people in this market where men- men who liked blond hair. After having our photo take by multiple creepy dudes cell phones we toured Jamma Masjid the grand mosque of Delhi- which is the largest mosque in India. Oddly, we weren't asked to cover our hair, but women are forced to wear this ridiculous polka-dot get up. Amazing fashion, but whatever- I just do what I'm told!! After climbing one of the mosque minarets and taking smoggy Delhi skyline photos we jumped back into the car and headed to Agra. Our visit coincided with massive protests in Delhi- authorities were expecting 200, 000 people to be coming to the city, and our tour guide was anxious to get us out of the city before this started.
Market mayhem in Delhi
Delhi- Grand Mosque Fashion week :)
Views from the Grand Mosque
 We had a 5 day tour of Northern India booked, and after the tour we were dropped back off in Delhi for a last night before flying back to Riyadh aka Rehab :(

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