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Delhi day 2

semi-overcast

With most attractions closed I did what I could to make something from the day, first with a visit to the crumbly red sandstone Jama Mosque, the largest in all India, and then more rickshaw snarled, tout infested lanes out to the similarly impressive Delhi Fort, though I could only view its exterior. By now the subcontinent was revealed in all its many guises, the beggars were now regularly encountered and some desperate types lay about, now not too distantly removed from the general populace. There were sad excuses for humanity sprawled over the pavements and in the dirt, in varying states of incapacity ranging from no feet, no legs, no fingers, no forearms, and I was cynical enough to suppose that not all had been accidental. I helped one of the pavement vendors out by buying a bottle opener from him, it had been perverse to finally be able to buy beer yet not be able to open it! Mangy dogs slept anywhere amid the squalor and roaming Brahmin cattle added their bulk and waste to the congestion and general filth. There were also chipmunks and weasels running wild, and monkies clambered over some of the cities grandest buildings. It was amazing then to descend into the gleaming air-con Metro again and suddenly leave it all behind. I also managed to secure an air ticket at long last, I ended up having to pay around 4 quid commission to an agent but bagged a zero fare seat on a flight Mumbai to Goa, and so that was it, decision made, I was going to the beach. Other impressions were the already mounting instances of rip-offs and shite service, like asking for a mug of Americano and receiving a tiny espresso, a second time waiting maybe 40 minutes and giving up despite my prompting. At the Jama Mosque the 20 Rupee camera charge had shot up to 200 by the time I reached another gate, I already had my snaps though so took it as a sign to leave. That was a ridiculous amount of money for anything in this country and you couldnt even be sure whether it was legitimate. Later, in a desperate effort to find beer to drink in a congenial place, I endured a wanky Tex-Mex joint full of all the western trappings deemed de rigeur for the would be Indian elite, with waiters dressed as cowboys and WWF on TV, what a pile of slime. Well, it was happy hour, but it still wasnt cheap.

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in India

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