Revisiting (and rethinking) Delhi

I’m back in Delhi after two solid days of rest in Guwahati. I found a copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho on the bookshelf in the communal living room, and quickly read it cover to cover. I know most of the western world has already read this book and I am late to the game, but better late than never. It was a gem; there are many little nuggets of wisdom and interesting analogies weaved throughout the story.

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Bartering like a boss

I had a much-needed wonderful night’s sleep, which always renews my optimism and confidence. I mainly market-hopped around the city via metro and tuk-tuk. Before the market mayhem, I caught a tuk-tuk to India Gate to quickly catch a glimpse and be on my way. Instead, I was immediately called out by a tout offering to photograph me in front of it and print the photos I liked for 100 rupees per photo. In the name of good fun, I played the stereotypical tourist and got on board for the photoshoot. He had a nice camera and took a number of shots from different angles in different poses.

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Not my cup of chai

I arrived in Delhi in an excited state of exhaustion from almost two nights of little to no sleep (the night before the trip due to packing and anticipation, and the overnight flight itself). The flight to Delhi was just under eight hours, and my seat-mate was a girl named Manasi, a Bangalore native just returning home from a six-month work period in Gottingen. She recommended a list of foods to eat while in Delhi, as well as markets (my hands-down favourite thing to do in any new city is to browse the local markets), and we each recommended a few books. After the flight, I hired a cab from the airport to my guesthouse (via AirBnB) in Defence Colony in New Delhi. First impression: driving is an absolute clusterfuck (not that this was unexpected).

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