Old Delhi

Trip Start Jun 28, 2009
Trip End Aug 07, 2009

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Yesterday we finally saw some good stuff! Unfortunately, trying to compose all my thoughts and getting the pictures uploaded takes longer than I expect every time I sit down at the computer. Excuse this very rushed version of events…

We saw three different temples yesterday- Sikh, Hindu, Jain- and a mosque (very austere!). The Hindu was my favorite- there were swastikas everywhere, which here is a symbol showing how order can be made out of chaos. And the Hindu deities are so beautifully and colorfully depicted- one carries a flute like a weapon, showing how words can be used to injure or can be melodious and soothing. You have to take your shoes off at each temple, and I was fascinated at the crowds constantly moving in and out (I didn't see anything like a formal service). My feet have never been so blessed- or so dirty!

By the way- we saw a snake charmer! But we were running to get on the next bus and I couldn’t manage to snap a pic.

We REALLY enjoyed our walking tour of Old Delhi- now there’s the image of India I had in mind. I didn’t experience the emotional reaction I had anticipated, but the scene was alarming and overwhelming all the same. I may need more time to process everything we saw. I could hardly keep out of the traffic of rickshaws, bicyclists, and pedestrians- I struggled to keep up with my group. I got a better glimpse of how the poor live day to day. Many children in dirty, worn clothes approached us out of curiosity or to beg. People seem to work at all hours, especially at night. They sleep everywhere- all over the sidewalks and even crowding the medians at intersections.

Returning to the hotel room was disorienting. Here I am, enjoying a big fat two-month break from work, staying at this opulent hotel, feeling clean and comfortable after an exhausting day walking through a crowded city full of poverty. By the way, I was surprised to see very little garbage on the street.

I’m starting to get a feel for the rhythm of writing the blog while I wait for the pictures to upload. I’m sure I’ve made lots of errors here and in the picture captions, which drives me nuts but I’m truly rushing and it’s better than not posting at all. Lots more to come…
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