last day in Delhi
Wednesday afternoon about 16:00-
I didn't mention that I really enjoyed walking in the New Delhi Station
at 5AM, with it black outside. But I got back here to the hotel after
11PM, since the auto-rickshaw driver didn't know where the hotel
actually is, and spent time trying to get directions. I did know where
it is, and exactly how to get here, but couldn't communicate my
knowledge to him easily. Eventually he got the idea, though.
I got a up a bit late, and had a masala omelet (listed on the non-veg
part of the menu here). BTW, apparently most vegetarians here don't
consider mushrooms as veg. I didn't get a good explanation as to why.
I then walked out with the intention of exploring Connaught Place a bit
more, marked a waypoint on the GPS in case I got hopelessly confused, and
ended up buying a day-pass for the Metro system, partly to use the
subway under the "fountain and park" which is currently a construction
site, and then walking to India Gate. I discovered that I had
misunderstood some bits of the Metro map, and it's goes nowhere near
India Gate. So, I took a 2 rupee bus ride back to Connaught Place, and
the Metro station. I dipped into the Palicka Bazaar, too. That's an
amazing place, and would be great fun if I was in a shopping mood (a
rare occurance). I escaped from there, and then rode the Blue Line
a good way out. It is elevated most of the way, so I got to see a lot
of the back side of Delhi, if from a height. In trying to get oriented
to the surface, I got a hint from a Metro employee about doing excursion
trips cheaply. Of course, I had a flat-rate card, but still did as was
One of the "Do's" of the Metro is "stand left, walk right" on the
escalators, for a bit of a twist. It's not honored, but.... I couldn't
very well do my usual loud suggestion about that, as I will do at home
or in London.
I came back to one stop short of Connaught Place (actually Rajiv Chowk
now, but everyone knows the other name),a short walk away, came to the
surface, and had a 10 rupee lunch, eaten with my fingers, of what might
be "chola kulcha" from a street cookery. I then giggled at people
queuing to get into Pizza Hut nearby.
I plunged underground and on to the Metro again, riding to the
interchange at Kashmere Gate, and then on the Red Line to the end,
Shahdara, just beyond Welcome, which took me across the Yamuna River on
a high bridge. Back to Kashmere Gate, then the Yellow Line to New Delhi
Station, where I emerged, oriented myself (I was short yards from where
I'd gotten the 3-wheeler the night before) and continued on back to
Rajiv Chowk, and followed the signs to the B and H block exit, since my
hotel is the 55 Hotel at 55 H block.
When I arrived at the front desk, they immediately offered me a sweet
lassi. It is a very friendly and helpful place.
A couple more notes relating to food and drink-
The menu at the hotel says this: We have Special Arrangements for Ladies
And "fizzy water" as a synonym for carbonated water might not work here-
the brand name of the bottled water I was given on the train is "Fizzy".
It's "Ozonised", but there's no bubbles.
The weather is a bit better now, I think, or I'm getting used to it. Of
course, London and Coniston are going to be very different.
I hope my camping gear gets to the UK as planned. I left it ready to
mail, address and customs labels done, at home for my house sitter to
post, and emailed him a reminder, but haven't gotten a reply.
Thursday 18 May 04:03Z
I'm on the flight about an hour out of Frankfort. I'll post this
mid-morning from London, since FlyNet is not active on this aircraft. I've had an account at the internet "cafe" near my hotel for several years now, since I turn up there regularly. Last time I was at the hotel, they were trying to set up a computer for the customers to use, but it wasn't working. We'll see.
The airport in Delhi was an exercise in queuing. I got in line when I
walked through the door, and was standing in line for all but 10 minutes
of the the three hours I was in the terminal. I was behind people who
didn't have the right paperwork or who wanted to argue, and stood next
in line while all those people who arrived late and so had to get
priority to make their flights were processed in front of me. When I
went through security to get to the gate, the person in front of me had
something in their bag that attracted a crowd of inspectors and
security, AND argued loudly about it. I got smiles for having
everything together, and for being patient, though, so it was almost
worth it. OTOH, because I had miscalculated my hotel bill, and the
money changer inside security was closed, I'm carrying home more rupees
than I should. You're not supposed to take rupees out of the country,
so I can't change it at the usual places, so I'll probably hang on to it
until the next trip.
And I do plan on there being a next trip. I have just brushed the
surface of this country, and want to see much more. I like India.