We checked into Hotel Namaskar in the Main Bazaar near the New Delhi
train station. Mark slept most of the first day here after his horrendous train trip -
but he now seems much better.
After a lazy first day, we ventured out into the midday heat (40+
degrees). It is possible that the rickshaw drivers are even worse in
Delhi than Agra - after agreeing to a price and traveling for a few
minutes, one of our drivers basically said he would not take us any
further unless we visited a store that would pay him a commission for
bringing us in. We left the rickshaw and with some difficulty found
another rickshaw for a reasonable price.
We saw the Jama Masjid (Mosque) and the Chandni Chowk area of Old
Delhi. We were surprised to see an earwax wallah sitting on the sidewalk -
he cleans out earwax for a fee. In the evening, we went to the sound and
light show at the Red Fort, and enjoyed the history lesson accompanied by
colourful lights and swarms of mosquitoes. On our second day, we rented a
taxi for half a day and flew by the remainder of Delhi's sights - the
Lotus (Bahai) Temple, Humayun's Tomb, the India Gate, the Rajpath and
government buildings, and Lakshmi Narayan temple. We finally saw a snake
charmer as well, so I feel we can now leave for our next country.
India has some truly remarkable problems - water shortages, power
shortages, bad roads, overworked or non-existent sewers, immense poverty,
weeks of 40+ Celsius heat, powerful States that each have their own
language, some major religious differences, incredible bureaucracy, a
string of coalition central governments, and 1 billion (and growing)
people. It is one fascinating country. I know I will look forward to my
next visit here, but for now I am happy to be heading to England.