Hearty Welcomes & Salutations! Originally an action-packed travel blog from a globe-trotting Scotsman, An Ache for the Distance has, over the years, slowed down (I post less often), mellowed out (my dogs and kid have found their way on here) and become more of an expat blog (I German things up). Take a look around, leave a comment and share the love if you like something.
Stuart Mathieson, Lübeck, Germany

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Delhi India - The Beginning

Imagine the situation, Olga and Nikolai go carpet shopping somewhere in deepest darkest Siberia. They buy a lovely "Amber de Antalya" number and bundle it onto the roof of the Lada. On the drive home, they don't bother discussing how they will lay it, what furniture will need to be moved or even whether or not they should take their shoes of now before entering the house.

Why? Because in Russia, carpet is what goes on the walls. As such, words to the effect of, "Oh my God, there's carpet on the floor..." were Lana's first in India. The cultural revelation will be profound I thought to myself.

Half an hour later, once the carpet novelty had faded, we found ourselves in the reception of a hotel in a backstreet slum. Maybe slum is a little hard but the streets we went up to get there were barely wide enough to two people to pass each other, the ground was a piss-smelling sludge and in the dim light, things could be seen scuttling. Whilst waiting for the receptionist, I could see Lana wishing she were back marvelling the floor carpet and, when the first cockroach whooshed past her foot, I knew we had problems.

Ten minutes later we were in a slightly more upmarket hotel looking at another room. Lana spotted something dark on the bed and moved in closer to inspect. However the Indian porter had also clocked the new guest and decided to throw a pillow at it whilst reassuring us with, "It's only a mosquito, honest!" The mosquito scuttled down the back of the bed...

Credit though to the folks at the Hindustan hotel as in the end they gave us the room for free, seeing as it was 4am. I passed out around 6am after trying to reassure Lana that the cockroaches wouldn't eat her but she held an all night vigil against any encroaching roach. Thus, with bleary eyes, the next morning we hauled our bags around in search of a cockroach free establishment. We eventually found a fantastic place through the guidebook but not before I had built up a serious, shirt soaking sweat and Lana went ankle deep in a monsoon mud puddle.

Despite finding a fantastic hotel, which incidentally leaves a copy of the "Times of India" outside the door in the morning (I'm easily impressed), the day still went down the pan. We tried to visit the Red Fort but were fucked about by the Tuk Tuk driver, even after I shouted a round of samosas. He took us to the arse of the building, told us it was closed and then whisked us to Connaught Place in the city centre to conduct some dodgy deals. The day ended with a 6.30pm bedtime.

The following day was much better. Newspaper at the door. Breakfast on the roof. Guided tour of the city with a car and driver. Brief stint on a rickshaw with a finely bearded old fella showing that you don't have to retire at 67. Enough temples, gardens and monuments to break a lonely planet writers wrist. Hundreds of hellos and funny looks from curious locals along with the occasional photo (Indians taking photos of us that is!) and to top it all off, 32C and sunshine.

End of day 2 - Delhi Belly (negative)

1 comment:

Hotel said...

Nice exposure to the business. It's a wonderful place.If your hotel is located on a walking distance from the main tourist attraction but there is lot of competition your hotel might not get enough guests.

Marun

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