All roads may not lead to Rome…seems like they may all be in Delhi. Brian and I stepped off the plane from Delhi to a different world when we landed at Indira Ghandi Airport in Delhi. We met my old roommate Ben and Matt (who he’s been traveling around the world with) alongside our soon to be favorite person in India – our driver Krishna.
At this time I would like to make a shameless plug for Matt’s blog –> CLICK ME!
Krishna will be with us for the next three days. Expect MANY MANY Krishna-isms in this post. If you ever go to Delhi, there is no reason why you should ever go with anyone else, he is the best driver in Delhi, possibly the world.
We headed straight for our hotel, Hotel The Pearl, our pit stop in Delhi. At $17 each a night, this four person room was a steal. It wasn’t in the best neighborhood but eh, with three men in tow I figured I was safe. Basically, when looking for a hotel you get an even split of luxurious overpriced tourist hotels or reasonable and beautiful business hotels in worse locations…we chose the latter. I’d really like to emphasize how when you are in India you should have a copy of the hotel’s card. There are MANY Pearl hotels for example. Here is a vine of our room:
After a quick rest we headed out into the city, we took rickshaws once the road was cut off to cars and I took a few pics. At this point I’d like to say that driving in India is the definition of “organized chaos” somehow honking is used as a communication mechanism and when I awoke later in our journey to find that we had driven over the median on the highway and were driving on the incoming traffic side…Krishna’s “no worry chicken curry” response somehow didn’t send me into a panic. Don’t worry, chaos works in India.
We also stopped by this mosque which was fitting during Ramadan. Sunday was the Indian day off so Red Fort became too crowded, we headed back for some Paneer Butter Masala, endless Naan and a different site instead.
We made our way back…
Humayun’s Tomb is definitely worth seeing although the first day for me was the worst in terms of attire. So hot, so humid. The tomb built in 1570 was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent.You’d be hard pressed to remember you’re visiting a tomb at all, something I found myself feeling when we were at the Taj Mahal as well. This was according to my hard-pressed internet research, the first structure to use sandstone at this scale as well. which I personally found added not only to the color but to the coolness if you could find shade. It has been a UNESCO World Hertiage site since 1993 but undergone several renovations and upgrades.
Those Shoes Suck, Those Shoes Rule…
It doesn’t matter where I am, I will go shopping. I insisted Krishna take us to a bargaining type chaotic market because it was far more fun. As Ben and Matt’s Varanasi guide says – “If you don’t bargain you’re just a white ATM”. I loved it.
We stopped by Central Market where I bought some elephants and ali baba pants for my sister. Pretty much you always want to halve the starting price. I have to note at this point that all across South East Asia, everyone wears these pants. No one in any country, I repeat no one, that is local anyways ever wears these pants. Taht being said I was very hot and this was very worth it. The pants disintegrated by the time I returned to the U.S. They were still worth it.
Afterwards, Krishna took us to an underground market. It was pretty much the coolest market experience I’ve ever had. We went down some stairs which obviously led to the following conversation.
Krishna: Ben, don’t forget to check your gun.
Lady at the door: Gun?! You need bag check!
Fifteen minutes later Ben joined us and explained they were both joking despite no one laughing and the joke dragging on for a quarter of an hour. You can pretty much expect a metal detector everywhere, it beeps in both the LADIES and GENTS line and nobody cares. You are subsequently patted down and move along. We were good patsies.
Afterwards, Krishna dropped us off at the hotel and we went out to the Main Bazaar for dinner, here are a few nighttime snaps I grabbed before we finally all passed out and went to sleep. Over the course of the next few days, we would eat many a meal in the main bazaar. Of course you should watch out for pick pockets (honestly often children, not adults) but overall it was quite safe and we had some really great food.