|a South Indian breakfast in North India|
I knew this time around my experience would be different. I was here to recruit Indian students who wanted to study in Canada. It wasn’t just about travelling anymore. However any way I could explore, I took the chance! India is a country you can travel to many times over without being bored – there is just TOO much to explore: cultures, food, cities, historical sites and landscapes. It’s tough to be bored in incredible India!
|Indian students LOVE to study in Canada!|
|A vendor at India Gate|
Delhi’s Red Fort was built by the Mugal emperor Shah Jahan (the same emperor who built the Taj Mahal in honor of his loving wife) in the walled city of Old Delhi in the 17th century. Most of Delhi’s sites that are left standing are from this period (or at least the ones I visited). It’s was blindingly hot at the Red Fort and the lack of shade surrounding this monument plus the breezes of dirt can be a lot to tolerate after a few minutes walk. Sunglasses and a hat are a must for visiting any of Delhi’s sites.
India Gate is a memorial to India’s soldiers with names of the lost souls inscribed into the stone of the gate. However like most public places, India Gate is a popular spot for families to hang out in the evenings. There is no shade however but lots of open space right in the middle of this vast city – a constant theme for Indians who just want a green space to hang out with their families after a long day.
Dili ghat is a great regional market with local crafts, pashminas and tribal knick knacks. It’s also a great place to try different foods from around India, IF you have an iron stomach. India is NOT for the faint of heart when it comes to food. Although eating from the local markets is tempting, as a foreigner this is the only country where I actually exercise caution to where I eat from. It will save you a few days of agony while squatting over a hole.
|Dili Ghat market|
Shopping is an interesting thing in India – there are glitzy American style malls protected with security and metal detectors across from local artisan markets, selling fruits, sarees and homemade knick knacks. However I can’t help but wonder where the money comes from for residents in Delhi to shop at the same prices as Westerners.
The gap is only enlarging – I observed this in the south during my first visit; the rich and poor divide was loud and apparent. The beggers are also getting wiser. The new stint now are beggers with injured children (missing limbs mostly, but still bloody!), harrassing you when at any red light.
The Delhi train station is more chaotic than any station I had seen in the south. The escalators were out of service and the station stank of urine. This experience was not for the amateur travellers, and many of my co-travelers were unamused by India when we were boarding our train to Punjab.