A weekend in Delhi

Trip Start Jun 25, 2013
Trip End Dec 25, 2013

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Flag of India  ,
Monday, August 5, 2013

First of all apologies to those that have been unable to view my blog over the weekend. It would appear that this sites 'automated security system' flagged me as a person of dubious character - imagine that?.

I did email the administrator yesterday evening and offered my assurance that I was a fit and proper person and of sound (?) mind and as a result should be allowed to carry on with my one fingered ramblings.

Amazingly they bought it!

So, my weekend in Delhi was reasonably relaxed and Saturday was occupied by some much needed admin. By that I obviously mean washing my stinky clothes. Still at least they dried quickly - the weather at the moment is hot but not so hot as the summer months of May and June. There's a policy out here that says if it goes over 50 degrees then it's a day off - ye Ha! Guess what, 'officially' it's not gone over 49.5! I was reminded of this when Freddie and I went out Saturday evening and drove past the Delhi weather station  It has a LCD display at the front showing current temperature and forecast. In previous years I have been here and my thermometer has shown 56 degrees - officially I was wrong! On that particularly memorable day I was having my bike welded and I remember thinking; why don't they just stick the two bits of metal together? Oh and you have to wear gloves or pour water on your clutch/brake levers as they're too hot to touch!  Boy am I glad it's not currently like that. 

As it's now monsoon season the weather has cooled down but it's still hot enough for this particular Englishman abroad. I haven't experienced many downpours recently but a couple of weeks back I was riding the mighty Impulse through flood water that was up to my knees. The paper reports the next day said it was a record downpour and judging by the traffic chaos that resulted, it wasn't that surprising. There were abandoned cars everywhere and the water and rubbish I was riding through was 'interesting' to say the least. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take any photos due to wanting my camera to continue functioning! It wasn't the best day not to have my waterproofs either but the rain was so warm it would've been too hot anyway

Anyway, clean pants on and out we went. It was a great night and we even ended up playing billiards. Freddie's an enthusiastic character and you can't help but smile in his company. I'm sure many of you reading this will have met him and know what I'm talking about.

Yesterday (Sunday) was a relaxed start for me and in the afternoon I accompanied my latest flatmate to Old Delhi. This was on her wish list of 'things to do' whilst in Delhi but it isn't really the easiest place for a tall young white female to walk around.  We took the Metro http://delhimetrorail.com/ from our closest station - Chhattarpur to Chandni Chowk (Old Delhi). The metro system is well used by the locals and even has AC! As it was Sunday it was busy but not crazy busy. I can't believe how much bigger the Metro system is since I was last here in 2009. Even though it wasn't that manic we still breathed in that less than fragrant aroma of hot sweaty people crammed into a confined space. Anti perspirant anyone? It wasn't the LYNX effect that's for sure.

We arrived at Old Delhi, cleared the station and outside I bumped into the same rickshaw wallah that helped peddle Andy and Geoff a couple of weeks earlier. He clearly remembered me (we paid him well) and as a result off we went. Rickshaw drivers don't get paid that well but boy do they deserve every penny - sorry Rupee - if not more. It's hard work and in really difficult cycling conditions. Most people who work this way will pay a hefty percentage of their daily earnings to the owner of the bike they're using. As a result I always ask to be dropped off just before the Metro station - on the return leg - in the hope the driver will pocket some extra cash without his 'boss' working out how long he's been cycling around with the firangies (foreigners).

Janka enjoyed her Old Delhi experience (or that's what she told me) and got to see the Red Fort and Jamma Masjid before we caught the Metro back. Then it was ice cream and coffee at the Priya shopping area. You soon know you've been in a place too long though when the magazine vendor sees you walking through the security entrance and automatically has the latest BIKE magazine waiting for you in his hand.   

Back to the flat and as usual a much needed post Old Delhi shower. Then, a cold Kingfisher (in a pre frozen glass from the freezer - you don't get to this age without learning a thing or two) a bag of crisps and out with the bike magazine - Perfect!

My bike riding has unfortunately ended this last week or so due to an 'incident'  that resulted in a regrettable meeting with a man wearing rubber gloves and a mask. Not sure full details need to be put on the www but suffice to say that it's one Indian experience I don't need to repeat! Normal service will resume shortly - I've a big trip planned! Still, I'm feeling loads better and can't wait to get back riding.
Later this week I'll hopefully upload a few more photos and start writing a bike review, but until then, that's all folks.   

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