Monday, January 27, 2014

Old Friends in New Delhi

On my third trip to India, these two are like old friends welcoming me back.  The Ambassador Classic car and the three-wheel, green-and-yellow Tuk-Tuk are iconic means of transport in the capitol city of New Delhi.  Unlike the updated black London cabs, they have both remained fairly unchanged since the 1950s.  They're beloved by their owners, and some of them are actually that old.

I was on my own today, and braved the Delhi metro.  I found it easy to use, and my one-stop ride cost the equivalent of 6 cents each way. The packed-in people, body contact and pushing was like nothing I'd seen anywhere before, and I've ridden a lot of subways.  I was glad I left my camera at the hotel, and had my money in a zippered pocket.  But it was a rich experience, a 'slice of life'.  I was surrounded by nothing but men, with a few exceptions.  But I realized that there are separate cars for women when I saw pink signs saying 'women only'.  Another sign warned of a fine for spitting: the penalty is 200 rupees, or about $3.

Tomorrow I meet-up with Sonu.  Many of you will remember that he was my driver the first time I came to India, and he became my friend.  At the end of that 2010 visit to the Taj Mahal, Ranthambhore and Jaipur, I had Sonu list in my journal an itinerary for the next time.  When I came in 2012 we toured the Himalayan foothills, and even visited his family.  Again, I didn't leave without his writing down a plan for another visit.  And here I am!  This time we will be 10 days further exploring the state of Rajasthan.  We learn together and talk about everything.  And we Facebook message and Skype between visits.  I'm so looking forward to being with Sonu again.  Having met him just four years ago, he may not be an old friend, but he's one of my best  .  .  .

1 comment:

Maria said...

Wonderful. Safe travels.

xo maria744