Not so bad as everyone makes out...

Trip Start Jan 08, 2011
Trip End Dec 20, 2011

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Where I stayed
Ringo Guesthouse

Flag of India  ,
Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 111 ;

Arrived at five am in Delhi, got in one rickshaw after ten minutes discussing where we wanted to go, literally metres down the road - I realised he was going the opposite bloody direction to the way we should of been going - frustrating or what - still bloody trying to take us somewhere we didn't want to go. so we got out.

Walked off in the right direction, eventually stopped another and even that one in the end turned out to be useless - found connaught place - but that was about as much use as he was.unbelievable.

First impressions of Delhi - were not what we had expected, along the way we've heard mixed opinions but mostly bad and we were kind of expecting a seething cesspool on a bigger scale of previous places we've been. to our surprise it was nothing like that - granted first impressions were early morning before anything really got going but still - clean streets, big wide roads in good condition, lots of trees and green spaces.

Found ringo guesthouse and we were drinking tea on the roof by six.

Thought we would be adventurous and also prove ourselves wrong on our views and head out of the safety of connaught place - took the metro north and taking the metro on the way out was a dream.that was before rush hour. Nice little experience and we both said we could of quite happily just spent a day hopping on and off the metro exploring.

Off the metro and took a cycle rickshaw on another whistlestop tour - saw the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid and some of the local markets and streets - granted, we didn't venture too far but still were shocked - no where near as horrible as we were expecting - in fact - bloody lovely compared to other places.

Saw more homeless than I would like to guess - seemed to be being fed at certain points, groups of hundreds, lining the streets. but still clean streets in comparison, no foul stench, no hassle, no nothing.

Even just that little way out of Connaught place - what seems the heart of New Delhi with its circular construction of grand white buildings centred around the inner circle and outer circle, the outer circle road was something like a mini speedway ring, brilliant, you might be able to put the west into India but you certainly won't take the India out of it, brand new city bus, followed, bumper to bumper by the rustbucket on wheels ( the more traditional buses!) and  with more western high street brands than you can count] - you can see a little more of the way it is, the stalls lining the streets, the shacks, the men pushing their carts or carts being pulled by ox  and I wondered if all those high street goods and fast food supplies are brought in by them - this front or face of a western world on a scale similar to something out of America , fed by this outer part, by the ox and cart and the men wheeling loads along on rickety wooden carts.

So that was that, shame we hadn't allowed more time really. Part two of the metro was a bit different! rush hour and can't speak for anywhere else as haven't used the metro in London for example but don't expect you have to literally wedge yourselves in as the doors open, be packed like sardines so much so that It's the only thing that stops you falling over as you move and stop. Because there's nothing to hold onto, let alone be able to get your arm from your side to above your head, or have to push, and I mean push, or be pushed and fight to get off, before the people waiting pile in,do so and make it impossible to get out, at least two people missed their stop because of that! every man for themselves! - maybe its the same everywhere, but it was an experience anyway - laughing all the time - only in india!

The rest of the day was spent posting the guitar home which turned out to be more hassle - couldn't post it from the post office in connaught place - too big, over one metre. that involved a 5km out of town rickshaw ride to the foreign post office or international post office, where to be fair they were really really helpful - sent someone out to get the cloth to pack it for me, gave us tea, and it was cool to just watch them all at work, we were right in their sorting office - two hours later and after some food Claire got to do her awaited shopping! which was unsuccessful... shops were awful, and if they weren't they were an absolute rip off - even by our standards, but I think we are forgetting where we were, it would be the same in London I guess. all she managed to get was a knock off pair of sunglasses in the street and a new book for south east asia.

So it was KFC for lunch and McDonald's for dinner, it was either that or pay 350rps for a chicken dish that 5mins down the road you would get for half that, and a bottle of water at 60rps,wait for it, then a further 20% tax to drinks - soft drinks,and water, 12.5% tax to food and then a 10% service. for some crappy mainstream attempt at decent food? two words starts with F and ends with OFF.  we chose the other evil, and fed the fast food industries pockets instead.

Emptied the bags, checked everything over to make sure we didn't have anything unexpected in them ready for the flight to Thailand!!

Claire is properly excited by this, mainly I think because of the part where she leaves India !!!
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