Sunday, January 15, 2023

Delhi, India, January 15, 2023

Sometimes there are no words-


I have no idea what the clothes are about-


Chandni Chowk market-









A man told me he’d repair the sides of my shoes and clean them.  I hadn’t even noticed they were coming apart.  So far they’re good as new-


Such a lot of garbage, and a man puked right in front of me-





Washing dishes, and I ate off a plate like that-


Traffic is insane-


You can get a hair cut, a shave or your pants repaired along the sidewalk-



Flowers for offerings in the Hindi temples-


Well, I think I only got took once today!  I want to take the train from Varanasi to Agra but because of the strange winter they are having, there is a lot of fog.  Some trains have been canceled because it’s too dangerous and others are running late, very late.  So I decided to go to the train station itself to book there.  It’s only a 3 minute walk from my hotel but once I got close, I was accosted.  He did help me find the so called office in the station but it was “moved” so another man took me to a tuktuk and he took me to the apparent new office.  They did have a train sticker on the the front door and the man was very helpful.  He suggested I fly and then finally suggested I just take a sleeper bus.  He didn’t demand I buy from him, he was just helpful.  I still do not think he was the official train agent but whatever.  After leaving his office I found myself in Connaught Place which is a lot of commercialism: shops, restaurants and offices.  The buildings are in Georgian style and in 2018, this was the 9th most expensive office space in the world at $154/sq.ft/year-


Central Park has been closed since COVID, one of the many COVID rules that didn’t make sense.  Although I visited with an American during supper who didn’t get home in time when the borders were closed and he said it was awful.  They set up hospitals and morgues in the streets.  People were bringing wooden furniture from their homes to burn the bodies-


Then I hired a tuk-tuk to take me to India Gate. It was going to cost $.33. It is funny how things change. I have no problem (what can you do?) paying $24 for a hamburger in Israel but when you can barter I try. $.33? How can the poor guy make any money at that rate? Anyway, we carried on but the roads towards the gate were blocked off and there were soldiers standing guard. There were also a lot of flags flying and he informed me that the Prime Minister was visiting and India Gate was closed so he dropped me off at an observatory which is also a tourist attraction but something I am not interested in. He demanded his Rs.20 and I told him no because he didn’t take me to where I was supposed to go and he left me where I didn’t want to be. He drove away angry and I walked away lost.

I’m not afraid to ask anyone anything and so I asked a young girl if she knew where the nearest metro was. She pointed me in one direction so away I went. After about 10 minutes of not finding a metro I asked someone else and they pointed me in the direction I had just come.  It’s important to ask a question that requires more of an answer than just yes or no.  That way you can be sure if they understand English or not.

Next I came across the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh temple-




I had to leave my socks and shoes with the shoe check as everyone walks around in bare feet.  They also walk through the trough to cleanse their feet-

 

I had to cover my head –


The holy pond is called a Sarovar and people take some home with them because it’s believed to have healing powers-


As with all Sikh Gurudwaras, Langar is practiced so all people, regardless of religion or race are welcome to eat-


To serve that many people, an industrial kitchen is required- 


with gigantic pots-

  

Yummy dahl-


Potatoes-


Vegetable soup-


Roti-

Making roti with a machine-



and making it by hand-




They feed 50,000 people each day!

Next I took the metro back towards the Red Fort to see a market I missed yesterday.  There are bridal stores with dresses for women-



and jewelry-p for the bride and attendants-


Wedding suits for men-


and a basket for the rings-


It was lunch time so I tried doulat ki chaat which is sweetened egg whites with a custard on top that was delicious-


I finally found a place selling paranthas which is stuffed roti and then learned I was on a very famous street because of all the paranthas restaurants on it-


It was a busy place-


I had some stuffed with cauliflower and another with almonds.  I liked the almond ones the best-


Carrying on I came to dried fruit and nut shops-



I decided that was enough of markets to last a life time and headed for Jama Masjid Mosque which is old and large, holding 25,000 people.  By this time I was with another tuktuk driver and he took me to the right entrance and sat and waited while I visited in the mosque-


Inside the walls-








The ablutions pond-


There’s another temple nearby called Shri Digamber Jain Lal Mandir.  It’s for those who follow Jainism, another religion.  Here too I had to remove my socks and shoes-




Carrying on we stopped at what used to be a wealthy street where homes were like individual apartments, something I take for granted but lots of Indians do not live like this.  It’s run down now but must have been pretty spectacular at one time-





Some boys were playing cricket in the narrow street.  I don’t think I’ve seen another place where you could play-


I caught the metro home, rested for awhile then found some chicken tikka masala for supper.  I’m exhausted and looking forward to a good sleep.  I can’t help but think about how lucky we as Canadians but more rural Saskatchewanians are with our wide open spaces, clean air, drinking water out of the tap, no crowds, little traffic and silence, lots of silence.  We are so lucky.  



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