Monday 23rd October 2017 (Day 26)
Checked in at Delhi and went for a walk. We stayed in Karol Bagh which was cheaper and in the centre of the bazaars, however, we walked to Connaught place which was ‘high end’ and had some well known high street stores (H&M). We needed a couple of new tshirts and so got them from H&M and went for an iced frappe. We realised we didn’t really know what to do so we went back to the hotel and researched.
We decided to do another ‘reality tour’ as 80% of their income goes back into the slums. We booked a tour for that afternoon around Old Delhi. 1pm at the Metro station and we met our guides Stanley and Sagar. They took us on the indian tube! I know what your thinking… but it was civilised! We got off at Old Delhi and it was VERY busy. Electrical cables everywhere, much dirtier, bustling and exciting. We grabbed a rickshaw and our guides took us to the spice market. Then the sneezing market? We laughed at the thought of trapped sneezes in bottles but no… “we’re serious” the guides said. It’s a chille market where millions of chilli’s in sacks are being carried and sold. A few fall on the floor now and again and are stepped on. The hottest chilli’s in India. Everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE, hundreds of people, sneezing, crying, coughing uncontrollably. “Whats going on?” we asked and then BAM! It hits the back of the throat. Tickles. COUGH. Then one accidental sniff and the eyes are streaming. Nose is burning. WOW. This is insane. We’ve been here two minutes.
We walk up some dingy stairs in the back of someones shop and up, up we go. Stanleys coughing his guts up. We come out onto a rooftop overlooking Old Delhi. What a view. Nightime but the roads are packed, lights everywhere, beeping everywhere. Coughing and shouting beneath us. Stanley got the worst of that Chilli Market. The poor guy was a mess. Hilarious.
Another Rickshaw to the Red Fort to see it from the outside. They all looked the same now. Then the wedding market which I was very excited about as I had been looking for these particular decorations rickshaw drivers have attached to their windows since we got to India. It was packed and bikes and men with wooden trollies were all trying to get through. We were ducking and diving under mens arms carrying huge sacks and around bikes and trollies all in a meter wide alley. Traffic jams and we end up against the wall whilst they sorted it. Nick had water chestnuts which were really tasty and I bought the decorations I wanted.
Then onto the Sikh temple. We removed our shoes, washed our hands and feet and covered our hair. Amzing songs of prayer and people everywhere praying and socialising. Sikhism is a beautiful religion and they all volunteer as part of the religion. They can eat for free everyday at this temple if they wish and volunteer to serve it to each other or clean each other shoes etc. The same street had a jainist temple, Hindu temple, Biddhist temple and Mosque. Again, everyone lives and works in peace together. Mature isn’t it?!
It was a brilliant end to the day and we got the metro back to Connaught place where we went for a posh dinner at ‘Farzi Café’. Music was brilliant. Joris Voorn for gods sake! Food was nice, small portions, bit weird, but tasty. The receipt came in a typewriter…