Site seeing and sickness in Delhi. I am starting to notice a pattern.
I booked myself into the Vivek Hotel of Parah Ganj (can’t stay away from the place) for three hundred and fifty rupee for the night. I started to drift off to sleep until massive stomach cramps and an explosion happened at 11.30pm. I stumbled out onto the street desperately looking for a twenty four hour chemist. As soon as some people on the side of the street saw I was distressed the insurgents helped wave down a taxi, and explained to them what I needed. I was whisked through the night on a return trip to get what antibiotics I could. The rest of the night was spent taking paracetamol and getting up every two hours to rechristen the bathroom. Remembering that Whetu had been eating lots of bananas whilst having stomach cramps I stuffed my face during the night.
Morning finally came and liberated me, and I was not looking forward to the nice hotel mission which I had said I would undertake: apparently I was to find a nice hotel for the four of us (Olly, Whetu, James who would be returning on Friday and I). A happy coincidence in the Vivek put an end to that. As I was walking down the stairwell with my pack, James who had prematurely returned to Delhi and had just spent the night on the same floor noticed the redness disappearing down the steps and chased after me. We faffed about in the morning a bit, so that I could go to the doctors and get prodded and a massive course of drugs (four blister packs of goodness). James and I have very similar travel styles (at least when it comes to monuments) and we began our two day grand tour of Delhi. Of course we first had to go to the Vedi tailors again and purchase some more tailor made shirts â€“ man are they a bargain. We then spent a few hours running around Delhi Museum checking out how Indian civilisation began and flourished over 3000 years ago. It really hits home how Western centric museums in the West are, I cannot wait to visit China and Japan to see the history that has occurred there.
Over the two days we visited Safdarjung’s Tomb, Khan Market, the Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate, and I explored the Red Fort whilst James got lost in the alley bazaars of Old Delhi.
On the first day we wandered looking for carpets at government emporiums, I had seen two very minted silk carpets in Leh and I was hoping to get a better deal in Delhi. Fat chance, the driver refused to take us to our correct destination and instead kept dropping us at fake emporiums which as it turns out give a one kilo CNG voucher to the drivers if the bring tourists to them. The first place he took us to we complained and said that wasn’t where were trying to go, so he took us to another one which we couldn’t tell if it was real or not. Turns out it wasn’t when we finally found the Government State Emporiums. The difference being in price and quality, at the dodgy emporiums the goods are the same price but of poorer quality. However nobody that we could find had any decent carpets, so at present I am hoping Mudassir will bring me two back the two I saw at a family friends shop in Leh (if you are reading this Mudassir).
During our penultimate night in Delhi, James and I were walking through the central park at Connaught Place on the way to QBA again whilst waiting to pick up suits and shirts. We followed an Indian guy in climbing over a fence and got the best comment of the trip. Three locals were sitting on a step watching us about to leap over the barrier. The first yelled out â€œYou can’t do thatâ€ to which is friend replied â€œYes he can, he can do what he likes. This is Indiaâ€. Multiple fingered personalities and anything goes sums up my Indian experience.
Friday night came and Olly and Whetu joined us at the hotel from Jaipur. They said they had a really good time yet Whetu still remained sick. As of this writing I don’t know if he has recovered, fortunately I feel as if I am on the tail end of the Delhi belly. It may not go away on its own however. Saturday morning saw Olly and me haggling taxis and having one last crazy trip to Delhi International. Whetu was supposed to have one more week in India but spat the dummy and rescheduled his flight for very early Saturday morning. James was the last to leave Delhi on the Sunday, and looked rather jet lagged at work on Monday. The flight was relatively uneventful, Olly and I talked crap and watched movies for ten hours. Kindly he and his parents let me crash at their place in Surrey before heading back London by train on Sunday morning.