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Delhi - A travel report by Euan
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Delhi,  India - flag India -  Delhi
2055 readers

edbrodie's travel reports

India in 5 weeks

  16 votes
This is the breakdown of how we felt while travelling through India over 5 weeks.

I’d like to begin this little glimpse of India with a few hard facts for the visitor but also the benefits of making the effort to see past our westernized senses and expectations. India is not the UK or USA even though in the cities you walk past McDonalds TM. So relax, relearn and start thinking. The most dramatic aspects of India from a personal perspective are unfortunately also the hardest to describe – the smells and the sound. Both assuage the senses incessantly from the moment you step off the plane, where you are met by the warm clay earthy scent that you come to recognize as Asia. The overtones to this warm earth change constantly around the country, from fragrant pine and jasmine up in the mountain regions to the all too common areas of the major cities where rotting vegetable matter has been found by the free roaming cattle, which have also left their pungent signature. Add to this the rather inevitable human contribution at convenient street corners, leave to bake at 45°C for several weeks between rain showers and the result leaves quite an effect on the nostrils and digestive system! You come to relish the relative merits of both incense and air conditioning far more than you thought possible. The other aspect from which there is very little respite for the tourist has to be the noise. The use of a car horn within western countries is limited to extreme annoyance and extreme danger – the first of which unfortunately sometimes leads to the latter! So for us the constant use to indicate change in direction, speed, intention, mood, weather conditions and the phase of the moon is a little overwhelming. The constant attentions of touts, beggars and tuk tuk drivers make for a lesson in patience on occasion, although it is also one of the major charms. Haggling over where a driver will take you for 15 rupees (whilst trying to avoid his friend’s “excellent emporium”) can be an hour’s entertainment in itself.

Favourite spots:
All things considered, India is full of things to do as well as see, smell touch and feel. You can never really get used to the omnipresent bovine population ignoring road rules, buses, mopeds and the like in the search for that tasty grassy morsel (you know that they know they are sacred). All of these things combine to give you a taste for what India is like, before you even get to the hotel let alone the Taj Mahal. Once immersed into the bustle, usually straight after you disembark from whatever transport you used to reach your destination, you wield your rucksack as a scythe to fight your way through all the Tuk Tuk drivers, who also give you helpful hints such as the trains are on strike or that your hotel that you had booked is closed etc. A strong constitution and also a quick look at a map before you hit the rush are recommended to make your first 10 minutes all the better – and probably cheaper. As Scot’s would say “be hard-necked”.

What's really great:
Bear in mind the fact is that a non-Asian skin colour in most of the regions of India visited by tourists will mark you as a tourist/ATM. You can’t blend in no matter what you wear, so it becomes a fact of life. Once accepted it’s easy to deal with, with a sense of humour and a firm resolve for both your itinerary and budget. But the tourist trail is not India, and will never be. If given the opportunity we can’t recommend enough the benefit of getting into somewhere where people actually live. The Indian people are amongst the most generous we’ve ever met, which is very difficult to comprehend when the only people you’ve met are trying to screw you for 10 times whatever would normally be charged, or that despite having no interest in buying a small plastic elephant from his mate, standing next to him, you’re given an emotional spiel to buy his instead. Grin and bear it fellow traveler, relax and relish the comedy.

Definitely out in the Sticks, try getting a decent map of the city and check with the goverment tourist office that its safe. Well worth the hassle!

Other recommendations:
Cheap Intenet Cafe, head through the Main Bazaar at the fork take the right hand one and keep going until you go past the road to the right for the Cinema. Just in front on the left is a good internet cafe at 10 rps per hour!

Published on Wednesday May 5th, 2004

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Wed, Mar 22 2006 - 12:25 PM rating by rangutan

Far too brief for a vast country and huge dynamic city :- ( Perhaps more can be added, pictures too oneday :-)

Mon, Mar 06 2006 - 04:26 PM rating by eirekay

We will be going to India in several months - your wonderful report will have us armed for all thr touts and tuk-tuk drivers :)

Mon, Aug 16 2004 - 03:30 PM rating by meghan

Hi Euan. Thanks for writing such a great report. I really loved Delhi and your report was so spot on about everything. It really is an assault on the senses and if travellers are willing to embrace everything for exactly what it is, take the good with the bad and laugh at the many frustrations i am sure that they will get as much from Delhi as I did. It sure is a city that you can never forget. Thanks again for your report it has certainly inspired me to throw in the towel at my dreary office job and head back to India as soon as I can.

Fri, May 28 2004 - 01:38 AM rating by kathmandukitten

Fair play mate, you're alot braver than I!

Fri, May 07 2004 - 10:50 PM rating by travelalain

Nice written report, and I almost could feel and smell the atmosphere. It's a great report, try to add some photos. You describe everything excellent, espacially the first impressions a tourist would have.

Thu, May 06 2004 - 08:11 AM rating by rrmurmu

Hi Euan,
I must admit that you have successfully narrated all your experience in India in very limited word. However, one is recommended to stay for a longer duration to understand the local culture and people here.......5 weeks are just not enough.

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