Tuesday, February 22, 2011

India part 17: Delhi

A door

I do like my doors.

It was cold in Delhi, which was a bit of a shock for me because I had one pair of socks, no trainers and no coat. Keen to avoid the hotels of Paharganj, which we both remembered as awful and overpriced, we instead stayed at Ringo's Guest House near Connaught Place, which was awful and overpriced. On one hand, our room didn't have any beetles, but it did have holes in the wall, what looked like blood on Sarah's bedsheet, a deeply weird poster of a Thai boy wishing us happy birthday, and a dirty bathroom floor. We asked to have it cleaned, and the man who obliged also kindly dragged the wet, dirty rag across the floor of the room on his way out, smiling at us as he did it, and I'm sure genuinely thinking he was doing us a favour.

Going to visit our friends Eleanor and Charlie at their hotel possibly didn't help matters: they were staying at Claridges. Still, we had beer and fun on two consecutive nights, even if illness from both teams prevented us staying out until the clock struck 2011. Connaught Place was not exactly the party place to be, in fact it was completely empty save for the hundreds of cold, bored policemen hanging about, apparently expecting millions of people to turn up and overthrow the government, as often happens these days.

I don't remember much about how we spent the first day of the new year, but we did pay a visit to the Sikh temple, Bangla Sahib.

Bangla Sahib Gurudwara

Bangla Sahib Gurudwara

Bangla Sahib Gurudwara

Oh, and apparently we also went to the grotty but charming India Coffee House. Says my diary:

I just had a plate of chips. Twelve, to be precise.

And that's it. You ain't shit, Pepys. The next day, though, we went to Humayan's Tomb, where I saw lots of people clearly wondering: "Are you Humayan, or are you dancer?"

Humayan's Tomb

Humayan's Tomb - star view

Humayan's Tomb

Splendid stuff. On the way there - we walked - we were forced to cross a very busy road. There was a man standing next to it doing absolutely nothing and holding a "Delhi traffic safety week" sign. We asked him if he could help us cross, or if there was a subway or bridge or something. He muttered just one word: "Tip?" So we ran across seven lanes of traffic as he watched. What an absolute benchod. Please look at this picture of Paharganj while I fume inwardly for a bit.


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