Thursday, November 27, 2008

DELHI - II

Terrible to read about the attacks in Mumbai but there's little point in me worrying about anything happening here in Delhi. If I were to be concerned, it'd more about the closures of the airports in Bangkok, given that I'm due to transit there on Monday a.m. However, the biggest risk to my life here is probably cycling in the Delhi traffic. After a day of almost total hibernation & recuperation after 4 days of cycling (to quote my good friend Felix: "after riding, you stay in your hotel, inside, with nothing moving" ) I ventured out into Delhi on the bicycle yesterday to try & get my bearings a little & to visit the museum, a few kilometres south of where I'm staying. It was quite harrowing at times, especially when having to cross several lanes (not really an accurate descriptor) of traffic on some of the one-way roads to make the required left or right hand turning. I've not been totally discouraged however after reading in this morning's paper here that yesterday had been a particularly bad day for "traffic snarls" in central Delhi due to the added numbers of visitors to the India International Trade Fair being held here, as well as a number of politicians being in town, political rallies, and weddings!

Cleaning the bike down for the aeroplane ride back home is always an issue, as Australian customs are especially rigourous if you've cycled through rural areas, and sometimes a good option is to hire a local kid to do the job. However, my room at the hotel has, in the bathroom, a very high-pressured hose next to the loo, with which I was able to blast away every speck of dried mud & grime from the bike frame & tyres. Wow! All hotels should have these as mandatory equipment! (it's so high pressured that I'd not be game to use it for its designated purpose .... you'd end up being hospitalised with internal injuries I'm sure). And yes, the bathroom floor was a little muddy by the time I'd finished.

So while my bike was drying off today I decided to try walking ... doing a loop from here to the massive Red Fort & the Jama Masjid ( a mosque). The route took me along Shardanand/ Shradhanand Road (also known as GB Road) - the red light district. There was little of this in evidence, although one fellow did follow me for a time offering to procure certain services for me. His English was a little hard to follow, but whatever was on offer seemed remarkably cheap. A few women could be seen peering out from the windows above, and there were extremely dubious looking characters hanging around, but otherwise the street seems to specialise in selling pumps & plumbing supplies! Other streets specialise in other products eg paper & stationery supplies in one of the streets I walked back along.

I also note that there's a new sign above the computer here, indicating that they're changing the system to become a "self help Cyber Cafe" just "drop your payment in the box". Before usage, complete your entry in the blue book and "provide photo copy of your passport"! Confusing messages about trust & security here.

4 comments:

Mr Felix (aka Pak Peelips) said...

Yeah, Mumbai looks like a mess, so just as well you're in Delhi. Reading about that stuff sure stirs the hatred in the heart, and what a cauldron of ill feeling it is. I'd better get a cup of tea and think about the Muslims I have loved.
I suspect everyone is Delhi somewhat shocked and on edge, eh?

-----
Closer to 'home', yes, I have encountered those super jet bottom washers, and they are, indeed, dangerous!
Woe betide anybody who takes a direct shot at 'home' after the ablution ritual - the key here being 'deflection'.
Still, a grand idea to wash the bike down, I wish I had one right now.

OK, mate, enjoyed the postings once again.

What's next?

Anonymous said...

Good to hear u are still in Delhi.
Mumbai tis truly awful, I cant get my head around it or over it.

Hatred sure is a destructive thing.

Yes bangkok and the airport hopefully its cleared by the time you get there.

We live in interesting times (No)

Enjoyed the tales and trevails of the trip.

Take Care.

Bikkuu Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi David,
It is a relieve to see that you are still posting your journey on the net. I have no idea what is happening in India. Please make sure that you have continuous access to the local news. Good luck mate! I will buy you a lunch for your stories when you come back! Take Care! Lei

Anonymous said...

look forward to it Lei
cheers, David