New Delhi, Delhi, India
2 days - October 2018
Bye bye Europe , time to go to Asia starting with India !
Freshly arrived to New Delhi, we took a taxi and discovered the capital city: thousands of cars, the mess, Indian nodding in the most famous way (use YouTube to see it!) the traffic, a 6 lanes road becoming at least a 10 lanes road (our taxi being the worst and sneaking in between 2 cars... note for ourselves: we won’t take a tuktuk in this city , too dangerous ! )
Instead we tried the metro and have been surprised how clean, efficient and modern it was. They even had a separate wagon for women and USB plugs to load your phone !
Arrived at the hotel, the manager turned on the TV and there was “Who wants to become a millionaire” and this reminded us of Slumdog millionaire (not cliche at all I know...)
First place we visited: Connaught Place to do some shopping (are we becoming Australian by going shopping first thing in a new city ?! ) and discovered many little stalls with food, clothes, fabric etc. They asked Cedric twice if he wanted his hair or ears cleaned, original service. We also saw many men ironing pants and shirts in the street (always purple the pair of pants !)
At least 10 Indian tried to help us in less than 10 minutes, nice but a bit intimidating and tiring.
First dinner and first lesson: when an Indian tells you it’s not spicy, well it is spicy so don’t even try the spicy option !
After a good night sleep, we headed to our first temple in India : Humayun’s Tomb. Commissioned by a Mughal emperor’s wife to bury the emperor and his family (and wives - yes plural for wife !), this temple has been ordered to a Persian and built in the late 16th century in around 20 years. It inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal so that not any kind of temple! For our first approach to Indian culture, we’ve been spoilt: massive temple, well renovated, many little details we love contemplating, many colours and beautiful gardens. Beautiful!
We then took an Uber and discovered that Tuktuk can be ordered through Uber !!! How to adapt to Local market lesson 1. Well with the traffic chaos and crazy drivers we took a car (micro car but still a car! ) to feel a bit more secure. Destination: Karim’s restaurant , an Indian institution where we had some naans, paneer (sauce with cheese) and rice. No cutleries were given, welcome to India! I was the only woman in the restaurant, weird feeling but everyone was really nice and Indians are always curious and trying to make contact with you!
We then walked a few hundred meters in Old Delhi which is the definition of : Mess !!! Impossible to walk peacefully here with the crazy amount of cars, tuktuks, shops, people ! Peak hours in Sydney trains is nothing compared to this chaos ! Crazy !
Now direction to the Jama Masjid Mosque which can gather 25,000 people ! It’s huge, the dome is huge, the minarets are 40 metres high and built with marble. As usual: there were thousands of Indians visiting/praying.
And we can’t count the number of people asking to do a selfie with us. Cédric surrendered and in less than 20 seconds, he was surrounded by 50 Indians all waiting to pose with him
End of our stay in Delhi! I was really scared about having a cultural shock but we quickly manage to understand rules and adapt to them. Yes it’s dirty, poor, super noisy but we’ve survived it !
# use Uber or Ola to order cars or tuktuk. No negotiations needed and the driver would have a GPS! From the airport: around 400 IRP to reach the city
# we stayed in Karol Bagh, defined as « quiet » as per Delhi standards and we recommend it. Close to metro .
# don’t miss Humayun’s tomb (600 IRP) and Jama Mesjid Mosque (300 IRP) and a quick trip to Old Delhi to discover what chaos is!
# we paid for the Jama Mesjid Mosque but apparently that’s a scam and we were not supposed to...
# we didn’t go to Lodi Gardens and Lotus temple but heard it was nice.
# we had nice Indian meals at Karim’s and Masala trail. Dish+naan+rice is around 400 IRP and is enough for 2!
Oct 20, 2018 - 08:23 PM
Super , Christelle et Cédric
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