Delhi is smelly
January 23rd, 2006 by teragram

But we had fun there, despite our breathing difficulties. Four of us headed up there for the weekend, and we had a very enjoyable time. I’ve posted a bunch of new photos from the trip on flickr.

One of the highlights was a trip to a Sikh temple. It was basically evangelism on the part of our rickshaw driver. He showed us around the temple, and explained some things to us. He showed us the area where they serve free food every meal, every day, for anyone who wants it. That was striking. There’s a large area where they roll out mats as they’re needed for diners. Then there’s the area where the bread is made, and the area where the vegetables are cooked. He pointed out repeatedly that Sikhs don’t believe in castes at all. Every who eats the food there eats together on the floor. He gave us a little leaflet explaining some things about Sikhism. I hadn’t realised just how little I knew about the religion before going there. Not that I’m that well-informed now, but at least I know some basics.

We ate lunch in a place called Kalim’s, right by the big mosque near the red fort (which was “100% closed” as we were informed by hawkers trying to convince us to take a cycle rickshaw). We ended up walking right around the mosque to get there and back. On the way back a random guy saw me looking at a cat and said “bildi, bildi, meow, meow”. He said it a few times, and I said “cat, bildi” and he was chuffed. So then he pointed to a goat and said something like “bakalak”. I think he got bored then, because he went away. I think it was S who said that if he ever had a pet goat he’d call it Burt (as in Burt Bakalak).

After that we went into the Tibetan Refugee Wollen Association Tibetan Refugee Wollen Association Exhibition cum Sale of Himalayan region. I bought two shawls of the softest wool I’ve ever felt. I think they might be Yak wool. I’ve washed one, hoping that doesn’t ruin it. If it doesn’t I’ll wash the other the same way.

C had to stay an extra day to do some work in Dehli, but he stayed in a different hotel, because it was organised by The Company. We went for a drink there on our way to the airport. It was the kind of hotel where the bar has a box of cigars on display. It’s funny that, no matter how luxurious a hotel bar gets, it can never wash off that slight smell of lonliness.

So anyway, we had a great time. The air in Delhi is pretty bad though. If I was going to spend any more than a couple of days there I’d definitely want to wear a mask. It’s surprising that we never saw anyone wearing one. Makes you wonder what Beijing will be like. *shudder*.


2 Responses  
  • James Hackett writes:
    January 23rd, 200612:46 pmat

    Someone told me recently that Beijing has changed considerably in the last few years (especially because of the upcoming olympic games) and is now more modern even than Singapore. Hopefully that will allay your fears.

  • teragram writes:
    January 23rd, 20061:30 pmat

    I’ve heard you could still cut yourself a slice of atmosphere there, though.


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