Today was our first day in Dehi a city of about 25 million in an area of 1484 square kilometres or about16,846 people per square km. Contrast that with Edmonton with a density of approximately 144 people per square km in the metropolitan area.
Spent the morning in our hotel acclimatizing to the jet leg as best we could. In the afternoon we took a cab to Connaught market in downtown New Delhi. Getting there was an experience as the lines on the road indicating traffic lanes appear to be only a suggestion as the drivers appear to do what they please, including driving into oncoming traffic lanes. Traffic circles ar another story as you have vehicles, Tuk Tuks and motorcycles coming at you from every which way to get to where they want to go. Automobile horns are an absolutely necessity and are heard incessantly as vehicles warn each other they are coming.
Connaught market is very interesting. It is built in a circle along a vey large area in the city, so large that in 2 hours we did not cover it all. You sure understand you are a minority and so do the people of Delhi. Before we started around the market we were advised about being accosted to show us around, buy stuff, take a Tuk Tuk ride and by beggars and to not make eye contact as that just invites the person into a conversation and then you are trapped. So off we went, a number of people ( by a number I mean about 25 in a two hour time frame) tried to steer us to a "government market" because it was a tax free zone due to the Daliwal festival starting this week. Sometimes the market was six stories in a large building and at other times it was six stories underground. Obviously a scam, which we successfully avoided. In addition, they offered to get us there on Tuk-Tuks for only 20 rupees, about 45 cents Canadian. We avoided those to as we were warned that we might not make it to where they said and that it would be way more the 20 rupees in the end. Finally, the beggars, children as young as 2 years old begging for money, mothers holding sleeping babies and when you ignored them the babies started crying, I think they were pinched to make that happen. Old ladies and children approaching people and cars. People and cars and garbage and stray dogs everywhere. We didn't see any cattle though, maybe that is elsewhere in Delhi.
On our way back our cab took us to the wrong hotel and wanted 400 rupees even though he had been paid by the tour group. We did not give it to him and had to call him back to drive us to the correct hotel. Too many Taj hotels in Delhi, I guess.
Relaxed in the lounge for very expensive drinks, a gin and tonic and tow beers for 2,783 rupees ($55 Cdn).
Supper consisted of two curries, brown rice and naan bread with sparkling water. It was very good and reasonably priced, I think.
We have to quit worrying about the price though and enjoy our time here.
Tomorrow off to Darjeeling.