I had a Plan
07.09.2009 - 08.09.2009 37 °C
So as to be near the Delhi Railway station, I got a hotel in the Main Bazaar district of New Delhi. It consists of a few long narrow streets, dissected by even narrower ones that have shops crammed either side. They sell textiles, food, pots & pans, shoes, jewellery, leather goods, in fact just about everything you want and a lot more. A few people commented to me that I should be very careful in there, but as it turned out, it was one of the few places that caused me little hassle. The sellers would approach you, trying to sell you their wares, but if you were not interested, they would generally leave you alone. Where else would you see tuktuks, rickshaws, cars, motobikes, dogs, cows, and people all moving together up and down the same street.
Yesterday I was offered a bus tour to see the sights of Delhi, a see them all in on day deal, but being driven round the city with a bunch of tourist just does not appeal, in fact it scared me.
So I came up with my own plan of walking around the city, to see India's Gate, then an indigenous craft museum, followed by Nehru’s museum and lastly the place were Mahatma Gandhi spent his last 104 days before being tragically assassinated on it’s grounds
So off I set, map in hand and I haven’t even got to India’s gate, when a guy comes up to me and offers to clean the big pile of shit clinging on my sandals. This is an old con; they surreptitiously put it on and then charge you to take it off. I go from calm to furious in about a second and call the sleazeball just about every four letter word I can think of. I walk towards him, he vanishes. It’s a shame that a small minority of these crooks do such a disservice to the majority of Indians who are honest & very hospitable.
By the time I get to India’s Gate it about 35 degrees in the shade, it’s like walking in the desert, and the distances between sites is a lot more than I calculated. The craft museum was decidedly under whelming, Nehru’s Museum , which is situated in what used to be India’s Prime Ministers’ residence, was interesting, especially in the way it revealed how Nehru , the then Prime Minister of India and Gandhi, who was outside government, eventually worked together to gain independence for India from the British in 1947.
Lastly there was Gandhi’s last residence and this was the place that enjoyed the most. It had lots of old movies showing Gandhi in action, little miniature models showing the major events in Gandhi’s life, speeches that he had given and a monument marking the exact spot where he was finally gunned down.
By this stage I have walked many kilometers in the sun and my sandals are starting to kill me. So I leave the place, walking bare feet down the street and a long walk across town to my hotel ahead of me, but a tuktuk driver seeing my pitiful plight, picks me up and delivers me safely home.
Not one of my better plans but it sure beats tour buses.
PS: Would love to include some of the movies I have taken but they take too long to upload