Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Delhi

Ok, I have been meaning to get this post up for months now, but for some reason just haven't been inspired or something.

While Kerri and Rowan were in the States I got word that my aunt Luanne would be in India doing a crazy trekking trip in the mountains. She was going to be in New Delhi for last few days, so I thought it would be fun to hop over there and hang with her for a while.

I ended up able to take about 10 days off for this, which was my first mistake. It would have been better in retrospect to just spend a few days, but somehow it's always hard to think of flying some long distance and only spend 3 days...when I *could* spend 10...I mean, why not? Anyway...

We stayed downtown near the train station in an area with lots of tourist hotels (the cheaper kind). Ours was quite nice which we were grateful for, as the sweltering heat made going out a short-lived proposition. The Hotel Grand Godwin was the name, and if you do have to stay in that area, I can recommend it.

So, I guess the bottom line was that it wasn't a very enjoyable trip from a typical travel perspective. It was miserably hot and humid, absolutely stunningly dirty, and the "touristy" things to see in New Delhi are not all that interesting (in my opinion). That isn't to say I wasn't glad I went...the experiences I had may not have been "fun" but they were good to have had. The poverty there is simply unbelievable...and this coming from a person who grew up in and around Manila. Lu and I both felt somewhat chagrined at our reactions to the heat, poverty and dirtiness of it all given our past experiences. But truly, it is beyond anything either of us had ever seen before. Sure, there were pockets in Manila that bad, but the general presence of it *that bad* everywhere you went? Not so much.

We did take the train out to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, which was...y'know...what you have to do, was kind of fun. Nice to see something other than unrelenting downtown. Requisite photos will be posted.

I think when we go back (Kerri and Rowan also), we will spend one night in Delhi to experience the sheer reality of it, then take the train to Agra, see the Taj, maybe spend the night, then take the train to Jaipur (which I hear is nice), then back to Delhi, then fly to the southern tip of India where Kerala is (which I hear is nice also). Then fly back to Kuwait. If we go while here. I know Rowan is dying to see the Taj and has been since he was a toddler.

Anyway, it's been too long now to give any scintillating descriptions, so I'm afraid the crummy photos will have to do. If Lu let's me know the URL, I'll link to hers also.