We have left the crowed streets of Bangkok and are now settled in in India. Having no idea what to expect from this Delhi / New Delhi place, I braced myself for whatever this city might have in store!
We started off the morning by meeting up with our city Guide. Initially I was not too excited that we had been assigned a “guide” for the day; In fact I was a little displeased as the Boss and I usually have very little problems wandering cities on our own. As the story continues you will understand that Ruby (our day guide) was without a doubt a necessity for our trip!
We started off at various mosques and tombs that were built hundreds of years ago for the Mogul Emperors. I found the architecture and symmetry of these buildings fascinating, and even more so when you factored in that the architects were without the technologies that we have today.
While I was wide eyed and taking in the sights, I couldn’t help but notice that other visitors seemed to be just as fascinated by me!?! Was there something on my face? My shirt?
Then there was a continuous steam of boys and girls alike who wanted to shake my hand or touch my bare arm?? Ruby (the day guide) told them to get lost, and then she explained to me that I was a young white girl, to which is not a common sight for them, and that they were just being foolish. “hmmmm” I thought, “surely this behavior is only because they are school children , and I shouldn’t have any other problems throughout the day”…
What started out as a lot of fun, ended up as frustrating experience. I just wanted to take pictures as we bumbled through the streets; mean while the people of the streets just wanted to touch me? Every time I rose my camera to my face to snap a pic, a local (male) from the crowd would run their finger/hand up the outside of my leg! I, needless to say, was livid! What am I supposed to do? Can women snap back in this country? Plus, we eventually have to turn around and go back out the same way… I would eventually be going right by those guys again!
Getting down from the bike was not an option, this would certainly cause a mob of beggars, hawkers, and pick-pocketers. After all it was actually more efficient to move through the crowd on this 3-wheeled contraption than by foot. So what did I do? Nothing. I hang my head and admit I did nothing in retaliation. Instead I kept my camera down and my eyes on the crowd ready to stare down anyone who looked suspicious. That seemed to work. Plus the Boss was also taking plenty of pictures.
As the day went on there were several more sights to be seen. But mostly what I will never forget, was some of the scenes of poverty. Surely there are some outstanding sights to be seen in India, but for a country of some 1billion people, there are going to be vast extremes. For this I was not prepared.
After a long day we headed back to the hotel for the night. I was exhausted, but sleep did not come easy.
Tomorrow we head to the Taj Mahal. I hope for a better day.