Tuesday, 8 June 2010
My Diary of India: Second Extract
Woke up this morning feeling far better! No signs yet of ‘Delhi belly’! Six of us went to the heart of New Delhi, Connaught Place. The market hadn’t begun so a man walked us to a shop where they charged ‘fixed prices’, ie high prices that are non-negotiable. Was a shame about the market because they are far more fun, as is travelling by tuktuk as opposed to metro, but we like to try everything! We moved on the colossal Red Fort, a huge military base with beautiful, intricate architecture inside. It was difficult to appreciate with hordes of male teenagers following and taking pictures of us, touching us at every opportunity and clicking. It was like being a celebrity, people just do not care. They kept pushing and crowding but eventually they stopped and we could admire the beauty and majesty of the individual buildings, surrounded by grass area which was too hot to sit in. The shopping was good too. I bought some jewellery and will hopefully have the chance to buy some more. Next was the most death defying rickshaw ride ever. People are desperate to make money from tourists so we got bundled into 3 and motored off towards lunch at Karim’s. The journey was so terrifying at times (holes in the road meant that we nearly fell into traffic!) that we really needed lunch when we got to India’s largest mosque, Jama Masjid. More boiling stones stung our feet but when in such an excitingly different place the sights and the smells distract you. Me and Kath even climbed the mosque tower, which was exhausting but the views were astounding, watching the crazy market street adjacent to the calm mosque was such a contrast. And that is what I think India is, a country of diversity and contrast. They are divided; rich and poor, despite the poor being on the doorsteps of the rich, veg and non-veg, North and South, where the two can’t even understand each other.