Delirious in Delhi? Delirious doesn’t even begin to describe it. We’re already leaving and I feel a pang of withdrawal from the organized chaos of honking cars, shouting people, and seamless workability of a system that’s been around for thousands of generations. It’s 6:45am and we’re on the train heading from Delhi to Haridwar and Rishikesh. The trains are really a great way to get around. And with a second class fare you get the comforts of a nice seat, and tea. It’s a chilly morning but nothing like the Canadian frigid air. Though all the Indians are wrapped in their head scarves and pashminas as if it was the Arctic. It’s an experience to see Delhi via train. Seeing everything from drying cow patties used to burn for heat, and plops of the ‘morning constitution’ being witnessed, to all the goings on of a new morning day. Workers on their bikes or scooters or cars, leaving for work. And the green countryside mixed with small collections of towns or shanty places along the way is part of the experience.
Delhi! Incredible and difficult to describe! I already look forward to coming back. The sites, sounds, smiles, scents and sensory shock is exactly what the Doctor ordered. It’s beautiful and special here. And though my blonde hair on a tall frame makes me the ideal target for hawkers and such, I find everyone really respectful in their way. They see me, and attempt to get my attention, and why wouldn’t they? So it’s by nature of survival that I would be pushed, prodded and cajoled to hand over some rupis. Nodda problem.
The shopping bazaars seem to be some of my favourite experiences. Thanks to our life saver, Baeni, our driver, we fought our ways through the traffic and honking horns to Chandi Chowk in Old Delhi. Wildly chaotic and insane shopping area that is made up of winding wee passages linking one bazaar specialty area to another. You can buy anything there from silver to saris, spices to shoes. It is near the Red Fort which is a major historical site but for my tastes it’s the shopping areas that provide the sense of any city.
Chandi Chowk was bizarre, crazy, and full of people all hawking. Buying, betting and selling. The passageways are so small that in,y a bicycle rickshaw could fit dodging the walkers, hawkers and stalkers. Any wall nearby seems to be the local pee zone and any small crevasse one viewed, Was filled with people! And the strange thing about it, is that it works. Amongst the chaos, it works. And, everyone, old or young, has a cel phone. It’s a lifeline as important here as it is to us in North America. It’s been an incredibly fulfilling experience thus far. Delhi is a cacophony of all things imaginable. I know I have only just scratched the surface of this place. And this is just the beginning. Next stop Haridwar and Rishikesh.