17th was our first day on our own. I got up early and went out to
Janpath to watch the city wake up. Delhi is not an early rising
city which made my walks more enjoyable. It was also cooler at
that time, 90 degrees at 7 AM. The parks around Rajpath and
Janpath, the street our hotel is on, are where many of the street
people, rickshaw drivers, and day workers sleep, bath, and live.
Our day began with an Indian breakfast that we came to enjoy daily - it looked like hash browns rolled in a crepe. We also tried papaya and mango rolled in nan, Indian flat bread.
Our driver appeared promptly with a vehicle that he swore had an operable air-conditioner. It worked, but it seemed like it was designed for Canadian summers, not this - it was straining to keep up early on. It probably cooled the morning's 105 degrees to a tolerable 95 degrees.
Our day was spent hitting all the shops recommended by one person or another and going to see the National Museum. The museum's gift shop turned out to have the best prices in town for most of the crafts anybody could want from India. We also wanted to see the Crafts Museum, but political rallies were going on nearby and it was closed.
in our front hallway now
the carpet had to get the full light view
says the sari is very comfortable
shop wanted you to watch them make things first
for something for his Mom
shop was a pile of everything Indian
did not see any modern shops either day
rickshaw entrepeneur who took over the tour duties the 2nd free day
things we didn't buy.
did not find any modern shops until our last day in Delhi, the
following week. The nicest was a government run "cottage
industry" that was wildly over priced. Other shops ranged
from "let's not get out of the car" to "OK, one street, then it's too
hot" to finally at Sunder Naga we found nice shops and a confectionery
store the boys liked.
One of the stops produced the most opportunity to see the Indian people. Larry and I stood on the street taking numerous pictures while Neil toured the shops. Spencer spent time shopping for gifts and then taking pictures. Many photos - rickshaw drivers, Indian women, shop boys, barbers, beggars, stray dogs, and 2 suspicious characters selling saffron.
Then it was back to the hotel where my "I'll eat anything" credo was put to the test. The hotel had a daily stand near the entrance handing out cool drinks - icy mango or papaya juice - a welcome burst of cold after coming in from the heat. Today, however, we were handed a drink that nearly made me gag. What the heck was it? The best way to describe it is a whole shaker of pepper dumped into dirty water. The Indian dispensing it said it was a local remedy for the heat. Apparently your throat and nose were so damaged by the drink, any concerns about the weather were quickly forgotten.