Thursday, January 08, 2009


I put up some pictures from the first day in Delhi. Not many, because I couldn't bring myself to take pictures of beggars, people washing themselves in the gutter, and similar things that are typical of Old Delhi.

Like many Europeans, I had this Rousseau-eske fear that India might be too modern and spoiled by modernism and progress. Well, it took only the drive past people sleeping in the streets to fix that. After a 24 hour flight, the hotel with 15 staff members at the reception was a bit surreal, but I only wanted to go to bed. The next morning, I took the clean and punctual metro to Old Delhi--after being cheated by the token salesperson. Stepping out of the station, I immediately got the stereotypical legless-guy-on-skateboard and cow-on-sidewalk. 10 minutes later outside the Red Fort, I gave up and picked the most fluent rickshaw hawker for a of Old Delhi--vastly overpaying him at $3 for the experience. This motivated, he energetically pulled out into traffic and cut off a city bus...totally normal and you get so washed out on adrenaline that it doesn't feel scary after a few minutes.

Three hours of climbing on and off the rickshaw, up and down rickety unlit stairs, and over partially tiled roofs, I had a ton of pictures, two visits to the driver's relatives stores and a lot of stories to tell. Unfortunately, I had to get back to the hotel for the first group meeting. At least I learned my lesson and--like all the Indians--banged on the bulletproof glass at the Metro until I got correct change.

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