Sunday, October 28, 2007

#2: Dante dreamed about Delhi noons

wednesday, 2nd part

Right after the previous entry, we went to look for a place to crash as our sleep deprived minds were starting to play tricks on us. For some reason we became an instant magnet for Indian hagglers to approach and wanting to help us. Helping us in the way that helped themselves, but such is the bustling life of a commission shark in Delhi. One after the other had their own best help to offer -as they put it themselves- and each a different story that led to us being taken to a new tourist booking agency. Same scene, different scenario. The deja-vu high was wrecking our mind.

Also the fact that most delhi people seemed baffled that we intended to stay more than 5 days in Delhi, as if we were out of our mind. *Why you stay in Dilli so long, is nothing here! you go elsewhere!*, is what we got told a lot. Ofcourse, the sharks wanted to get their piece of commission to send us to a long Rajasthan trek or a voyage up to the Kashmir mountains.

Imagine you are in such an agency and you sincerely tell them you want to have a train/bus to place A. You will get an answer that tells you can get to place A when you first go through place D, C and B, with D ofcourse being the furthermost place with only a little detour of an extra 500 km's. Oh yes. It didn't happen just one time but a few times during the morning and noon.

Normally we could have made light of the situation and hassle them back, but in that state our comical senses had abandoned us.

At last to get a hotel, we just followed a fella to yet another booking agency, though this time we got decent enough help, double the price that is. No chat about about detours, just the hotel booked for one night to recharge our own and the equipment batteries. And we even got a ride to the hotel by the agency. The moral of this experience? When exhausted, just don't linger around and become the easy prey tourist and get some good rest first.

Here a little glossary of standard delhi phenomenons.

On coughing. People like to cough here and need to. No gentle coughs, but a straight-up cough with a rattle of throat scraping n spitting after. All to the smog and dust, with also our throats feeling the delhi air all too well. Coughs up! Especially Maarten's cold cough has gotten more than rough over here, with enough nasty effects from the lung poisoning pollution. That's not even talking about the smog dirt that sticks to your skin and the greyness out of your nose. Over here it's a hot Dour festival every day. ;)

On traffic. Honking, screeching, swerving and shouting. Navigation isn't done by the rules as in the west, but the chaos of the traffic here has it's own pattern which is enjoyable to watch. So far we have seen no accidents, despite riksha's, motorcycles and tuktuk's race through the narrow streets, in the melee of the people's swarm. Near-accidents however, happen all the time when collisions in any combination of transport/person are just averted a the last gasp. Sometimes you deviously just wish... nah. ;)

Yesterday we saw our first cow crossing a busy intersection when the green light went on. The vehicles rode up to the holy horned white and started to honk crazily. The cow however just does one slow step after the other while the traffic behind the holy animal can pass again. Fun to watch.
The waiting time people give to cows isn't as it used to be, as we might believe, 'cos times in India have changed and there's even talk off banishing the cows from the city centers and continuous traffic spots.

We have been doing a lot more..... but short of time just past midnight here in the world of internet cafe's while the owner wants to lock up this shack. Below some photo impressions of the last few days:

view from our hotel balcony in the notorious Pahar Ganj area. gold and diamonds allover.

Maarten and his friends forever pic with buddhist monk

the cheeky gecko that crawled into our room. lively and sleeping animals enough here.

squirrels in India Gate park

Maarten pestering/filming kids swimming in the park's fountain, showing off their splashing moves

schoolkids at the walls of the red fort

Maarten talking, with view on the big Delhi mosque in the distance

woman selling indian pin flags for *charity*, I suckered in for 2 rupees.

streetscene Pahar Ganj, taken by Maarten this morning as I still lay asleep.

More stories next time...they're stacking up by now.


Malorix said...

Yo dudes, nog lekker aan het wennen aan het bijzondere (rare) leven daar, zo te lezen :-)
Het was erg tof in occii, nog bedankt daarvoor! Erg veel plezier daar en succes met opnames maken. Keep me posted, kan niet wachten op verse tunes!


ian said...

Wow, the Red Fort... Mughal-tastic. Have you been attacked by monkeys yet?

klazien said...

meer dan 5 dagen in Delhi?! Zijn jullie nou helemaal gek geworden? :-D

kvlol said...

Definitely worth a trip out of Delhi to see Qutub Minar. Are you going to visit Jaipur?

SebCatLitter said...

hi dudes n dudettes,

geen prob jelmer, je hebt een toffe live set gedaan! dat roept vast voor een vervolg, net als het geven van verse veld tunes :)

the red fort, well ian...we saw it from the outside only. didn't go inside as we had no time that day. afterwards we heard from local folks that now most rooms are closed off for public. so that means all the rooms/towers from where any mogul ruler watched over the city while their army slashed the delhi population to bits. happy times.

no attack by monkeys yet, I reckon that will change later this week in Rajasthan. saw a tame baby monkey, owned by a worker teen of previous hotel. maarten filmed it munching salad.

haha klazien is dus ook al zo'n delhi shark! bijt ons maar, je weet :)

No time for Qutub Minar, perhaps next time around Feb.
I read in newspaper yesterday that archeologists found traces of old fortress settlement right next to Qutub, predating the Red Fort. probably it was the 1st version of Red Fort from around 700 AD.

soon in couple o hours, night train to Ajmer...rajasthan