Going out with a Bang in Delhi

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November 14th 2007
Published: January 14th 2008
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So after Agra, we went on to Delhi; very different than the rest of India! A big city with very nice areas (and other not so nice), rich people, good roads & infrastucture, modern stuff, fast foods, etc. I even had lunch at TGI Friday's! So slightly revised my opinion of India at this point.

As a group we arrived in Delhi for the last day of Diwali, ideal time for insomniacs and adrenline junkies to visit the city. The sky was alight with with fireworks almost until dawn, the bangs left our ears ringing and most of us had a sleepless night. Now if you wonder about the adrenline part of my comment let me mention the lack of health and safety regarding fireworks and firecrackers in India and particularly Delhi. From our roof top vantage point over the city whilst we enjoyed a last meal together we watched some youths run around on another rooftop holding a lighted firecracker and just before it exploded launched it without looking to the street below. And as we walked back to our hotel another overly excited group set off a large firework at ground level literally 2 metres from where we were standing - it spun widely on the ground manically before exploding leaving our ears ringing and our knees shaking.

Anyway some of the group stayed on a couple of days before heading off to the four winds so I stuck in the area where the tour ended for this reason but one extra night cost a fortune to a Backpacker so I moved to the cheaper and according to our tour guide seedy and not safe area of Delhi. The latter two facts I did not find to me true - it was a great area and lots of backpackers! And I ran into a friend I made at Kopan Monastery too and we decided to travel on together so as far as I am concerned Parhanganj is great and 1/4 of the price so so even better!

I spent one day visiting the Art and Crafts Museum which was a fascinting insight into the historical arts and cultures on India and left me wishing I had a drawing pad and pencils so I could capture some of the images I saw and was not allowed to photograph.

Worst experience of Delhi came in the form of a trip to Red Fort in Old Delhi which I did on my own! Wise to the end me!!! I go the non English speaking Tuk Tuk driver who firstly tried to take me 200m for my 20 Rupees and then drop me off but after some hand gesturing he took me to the Red Fort. Which admittedly was further than thought or than the Lonely Planet Guide indicated. I got a bit nervous when he took my down some streets with still no Red Fort in sight especaily as it got closer to dusk and I had no iclue where I was. Eventually a red wall came in to sight - big sigh but the fun and scare was only just starting. He then dropped me off no where near the entrance and demanded nearly 3 times the money and which point a crowd of guys gathered around me and all got involved in the disagrement. As a single white female with not another westerner in sight I felt more than a little intimitdated and frightened. Eventually got away and threw a few more rupees in the direction of the Tuk Tuk driver but so shook up and it was now almost dark so grabbed the nearest Auto Rickshaw and headed back to the hotel with only a Outer walls of the Red Fort to show for all trouble. But experience didn't end there. At traffic lights I begger came past - showing off a football sized 'family jewel' package! Ouch, yuk and WHHHHHHYYYYY would you do that! But made it back safe and a bit wiser! And hastily booking my train out of Delhi (with Judy).

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