Well we arrived in New Delhi this morning. Our flights were fine. We were delayed about an hour in Heathrow but we made up time in the air so we were only about 25 minutes late arriving.
Some observations on traffic and transport:
1. When driving you can do anything you like so long as you beep your horn first, ANYTHING!
2. There’s no use for indicators - just beep.
3. Backseat belts are not equipped with buckles; you just kind of slip it over your shoulder. Sure with all the beeping you'll be fine
4. No matter how many lanes are marked on the road, you'll always fit another one in, just beep.
5. A single moped IS sufficient to transport a family of 4 from the airport, with their luggage.
6. A single regular pedal bike is sufficient to transport 5 cylinders of gas, not sure whether they were full or empty but we saw this a few times so I'm presuming at least some were full.
Basically it seems like getting into a car/auto rickshaw is like playing Russian Roulette but in saying all that we've yet to see a crash or accident.
The city itself very different from anywhere else either of us has ever been. As we were driving from the airport to the hotel we were waiting for the surroundings to get better, they didn't. It's so dry here that everything's dusty and drab. There are people EVERYWHERE, loads of people, it's really bustling and busy.
We went down to Connaught Place this evening. It's supposed to be the upmarket area and in fairness there were some posh and expensive looking shops but from the decor of the area you'd never guess it. All was fine above ground, no touts, no hassling, plain sailing. That all changed when we went to the underground Palika Bazaar. It was hectic down there and we stood out like sore thumbs. Despite how busy it was, everyone was vying for our attention, plenty of 'Excuse Me Sir!', 'Excuse Me Madam!' We got out of there as fast as we could.
If you don't know you can probably see it on Google Maps (just type in Connaught Place) but its made up of circles and inner circles. Well we had been wandering around the innermost one and the only restaurants we saw were McDonald's, TGI Friday's and KFC's so we ventured to the outer circle and came across a nice looking place where there were quite few Indian's eating, which we took as a good sign. It was only when we sat down that we noticed on the front of the menu that it was a Vegetarian Restaurant. That was probably the only thing on the menu that we understood but we stuck with it and with a little help from the waiter were both ordered 'dosa' which are like very, very thin crispy pancake type things made from rice. I got an onion dosa which just had chopped red onion in it and Foss got a plain one, which had nothing at all in it. They came with 2 side servings/sauces, one spicier than the other but we gave it a bash and dipped little bits into the less explosive sauce and we managed fine. Finished up with ice-cream to cool down the mouths. Not as scary as we thought it might be.
Well we managed to successfully negotiate one day in India, let's hope we can do 20 more.
Jan & Paul
Oh and BTW no pictures taken yet but sightseeing tomorrow so might have a few then.