Published: June 26th 2012June 26th 2012
I got really sick in Delhi. I had a very high fever, migraine and diarrhea. It went away after 5 days but I was very weak for a few days after. I did not take any medication as I prefer natural remedies. I took grape seed extract, cumin seeds and fennel seeds which helped greatly. Many of the spices used in Indian cooking are great for maintaining health such as turmeric which has antibiotic and antibacterial qualities. However, I discovered that there are not a lot of food options for the sick in India. I guess most people had mothers, wives or sisters to take care of them, but for travellers, whatever can be found in restaurants, shops, etc. are all not good for a sick stomach. Thank god I was staying at a friend’s house and had access to a kitchen. I basically cooked congee and then mixed it with curd. I couldn’t stomach anything else for about a week. That’s one thing I love about East Asia, you can always find congee, hot soups, or meals on the street anywhere anytime, that’s great for when your body needs nursing. People in Canada are pretty clueless as well. I remember, in a hospital in Toronto, I was served food that was seriously hard on the stomach and I was there because of severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea, and the food was served to me after I had not eaten for 3 days! (I was under quarantine so my mom’s cooking was inaccessible to me.) Sorry to digress.
Because I was sick most of the time in Delhi, I didn’t see much. I did manage to go on a free walking tour of Chandni Chowk. We looked at mainly havelis. There were signs saying “Heritage Buildings” but all the buildings were really run down and dirty, some starting to look like rubble. I also had to buy various things in different parts of the city and I went everywhere by metro and buses. I also went to the southern part of the city where it was really green but it was about 40°C so I was hiding in the shade most of the time. It didn’t feel like 40 though because it was very dry. I’ve been in 30°C high humidity that felt a lot worse. However, because Delhi was so dry and dusty, my nose was very irritated and it was very difficult to breathe. I had to put wet towels in the bedroom to go to sleep at night.
With friends, I went to Sam’s Cafe near New Delhi Railway station, Keventer’s for mango milkshakes, lunch in a restaurant at Connaught Place, a Chinese restaurant also near Connaught Place, and all at Canadian prices. I guess all my friends in Delhi had high paying jobs. I went rock climbing and bouldering at the India Mountaineering Foundation for 100 Rs, got my backpack repaired for 20 Rs, and had a sari made by a local tailor for 110 Rs. The tailor took only one day and the fabric was bought at a fabric store for 600 Rs. Central Market had the best prices for ayurvedic products.
I went to Saharanpur to see a friend. I didn’t see much of the town or maybe there wasn’t much to see. I visited the Sai Baba temple, saw an ISKON religious procession, and the biggest Jain temple in the area. Most of the land around Saharanpur belonged to Jains. The spike at the top of the Jain temple is made of solid gold. Jains are traditionally goldsmiths and gold dealers. They handle about 90% of the gold trade so Jains in India tend to be wealthy. Every street and street corner looked the same in Saharanpur, I got so lost.