Day #3: One step closer to becoming an Indian
Today was our second day in Delhi. We spent the day with our friend Vijay again who is very dedicated to pleasing us and showing us the best of Delhi.
We started the day by going to buy our train tickets to Agra at the station. Vijay funnily seemed to want to avoid this at all costs :-) . Maybe he was afraid of what we would think or it was his protective rib kicking in? The ticket office was a bit further from the station. Not even Vijay himself knew where it was! It was not an obvious place to be honest and it did feel like an adventure just going there. It was an old (not to say falling apart) house where Indians were lining up impatiently to get their tickets. We felt a bit lost to start with but eventually Antonio managed to find a helpful person at the desk. Our tickets costed 170 Rupees, a bit more than two Euros!! We decided to take the adventure of traveling in the local train, second class, without Air conditioning and with all the Indians! I guess we will have to wait until tomorrow to really comment on this :-) but I’m happy and curious to try it. It will be fun!
Apart from the train tickets, we didn’t do too well at keeping our budget. We continued our day in Old Delhi where we took a cycle rickshaw to visit around the markets, extremely busy and small streets. Antonio loved it!! He rejoiced in all the confusion and chaos of that scene. It took me a while to have fun and get out of my survival mode. Being on a bike in the middle of heavy traffic coming from all directions: buses, cars, rickshaws beeping, felt a bit overwhelming at first! Our driver was really nice but I couldn’t help and feel for him. Pedalling so hard under the burning sun and in the chaos of Deli. For two hours and only for Rs.400 (5 euros). It got me thinking of how hard he needed to work physically and the risks he took every day to make a living. Needless to say we gave him more in the end! I thought it was commendable to wake up every day and have the strength and courage to do such a hard work.
Anyway, me and Antonio loved it! We went to the Jamal Mosque, to the spice market and bought plenty of teas, to the clothes shop where I bought a beautiful indian silk outfit, we decided to eat a coconut on the street (so far so good haha) and we went to the jewellery and craft shop! It was beautiful! I can definitely understand why people lose their heads over Indian handmade goods. The jewellery, textiles and crafts are beautiful. Each piece is special for all the work that was put into it. The women you see in the streets always look like they have their elegant gowns on. Embroidered with beautiful jewellery, colors or lace, Indian textiles really makes any woman look stunning. My sister would lose her head, even I am jealous :-)
After our tour in Old Delhi it was time for a well-deserved lunch. Vijay took us to an overpriced restaurant we thought but the food was really good. Nevertheless, my stomach didn’t like it too much and it wasn’t long before I had to run to the bathroom. This is one of the worst feelings so far. Always having to be careful with what I eat and where, afraid of not feeling well and being away from home. I think that because we are traveling for many months we are less willing to take risks especially as it is our first days and we are already a bit sick. The feeling is not great. Antonio has a bad cold and cough and I felt really out of my comfort zone not being able to give him the meds I would usually take and the nice rest of being at home. I am hoping this feeling will smooth a bit in the upcoming days.
So, tomorrow we are leaving to Agra! And for the first time in India, we will be on our own as Mr. Jan treated us so well until now. I have a mixed feeling about leaving to Agra tomorrow but I think it will be fine and it is part of the learnings of our trip. We are slowly getting more and more out of our comfort zone.