Trip Start Jul 02, 2007
Trip End Aug 03, 2007

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Yes, the plan was to go to Red Fort and the mosque and maybe the big Islam monument Qutub Minar, south of Delhi.

Instead I went shopping. Red Fort, as I suspected, was red and fort-ish and getting to it involved walking across a busy road. The mosque isn't very big compared to the one in Abu Dhabi and I have no desire to go inside. I'm an uncultured beast, I know.

Opposite the train station is the Main Bazaar in Paharganj. I wandered from the other side of the station with a girl from Toronto, and nearly died of heat exhaustion - it must have been 40C today. We sat in a café for a bit to cool down. She has a flight to Bangkok tonight, so I left her there, kicking her heels. I wandered down the main drag and spotted some material I liked. Loose trousers [not those huge wrap around ones, though I got pair of those too] and some scarves for if I do a cold-ish trek later. I was in stripy pajama heaven!

Jem and Leah [and anyone else who's not a random]: tell me your preferred colours for a bag or some baggy pants for lounging around the house [I will convert you one by one]. Jem, green, yes? Like the darkish colour of that top in the Perhentians?
Also found a tea shop - so research Indian teas and let me know. Oh, just remembered, I cut my hair. Using my no-frills technique. I told Mum you'd be seriously displeased. It'll grow and then I'll have it done properly again. Honest.
**end digression**

Anyway, today I didn't get lost or lose anything, even my [Jem's] camera which I carried around in my hand. To be honest there was more risk me putting it down and not picking it up than it getting pinched. Last night's meat hasn't made me ill, and I only did a minimum of stepping in icky stuff.
Some kid tried to befriend me, and when he mentioned an emporium I said, "And you have nothing to do with it, huh?" and he admitted he would get commission. At least he's honest. Then he changed tack and asked whether I smoked. No, thank you very much. Mind you, weed is what I think of when someone says Paharganj. It's the main tourist drag and you see a lot of Westerners wearing dreds and baggy clothes with beads and bindis and henna tattoos. Very hippy. Not that every one of them does weed, but you know, it's an institution here.

Tooth update: it's grown through and outwards to the point that when I bite down I get a chunk of cheek. Nice. The tooth itself doesn't actually hurt though, so mustn't grumble.

Plan for the next weeks: Shimla - Kalpa - Spiti - trek? - Pin NP - Manali - Leh - trek/raft? - fly?Delhi - Agra? - Delhi - home. I'll probably be out of contact beyond Shimla, at least until Manali.

It would be nice to be travelling with someone, I have to say. I'm fine, but it's a little lonely. The advantage is that I can do what I want when I want, no negotiating over left or right. And when I shower I can stay cool afterward by lying on the bed without clothes on.
Aaaand with that nice mental image, I'll take my leave. Mwahaha!
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