I write this three hours into a 13hour train journey from Delhi to Varanasi, but more on that later. With so much time on my hands its the ideal opportunity to sum up Delhi. We may only have been there for three days and obviously havent seen all of the sites but I feel like we've got a true feel for the city. Delhi is every bit as chaotic and frustrating as everyone says it is, nothing can prepare you for the sensual onslaught when you leave the airport & in our case it only got wilder. we'd booked into a hotel in the Pahar Ganj for no other reason than it costs 2pounds a night. Driving up the main bazaar in a rickshaw for the first time this seems like the stereotypical India, bright and bustling, but only when you're on foot does it strike you, everyone here wants your money & being British means that everyone thinks you're loaded! The sheer number of touts in areas frequented by tourists means that you literally cant trust anyone that approaches you. Thats the saddest and most frustrating thing about this city because naturally we want to talk to as many people as possible.
Once you get out of the tourist areas though, this profiteering turns to curious intrigue and everything is a lot more fun. Nat's had more stares than Medusa but its all well meaning, random shouts of 'i love you too' come from the most unlikely looking people! This country is so busy, even crossing the road is an adventure! Today we walked back from the Gandhi museum, a few miles, and it was one of the best things we've done so far, meeting loads of interesting people and dodging traffic (scooters, rickshaws, cows etc!).
Far from gallavanting about the place like hippies trying to "connect with the real India" (Westerners seem to go a bit loopy here) we have actually seen the sights (or at least some of them). The National War Museum and the Gandhi Memorial were highlights, one telling the story of how Britain was desperate to keep a hold on India whilst the other showing how one man helped free it.
So i've managed to get four hours into the train journey now! This journey just reiterates how first impressions count for nothing in India, just as Delhi seemed like constant trouble at first, then turned out to be quite charming, this ride started with two of the oldest men in India taking the bunks below us, less than impressed with their western sleeping buddies and going straight to sleep. Comulsory silence and darkness ensued (at 6:45pm!), but the kind conductor man let us sit in his bunk while he checked everyones tickets (that took a while with about 50 carriages!) and then we managed to get cosy in our 5' x 2' homes.
This is all starting to feel a bit cliched writing a journal whilst travelling on a train through the Indian desert, thank god its dark outside so I can't wax lyrical abut the scenery. theres loads of things ive missed out, like the food (love all of it) and money (hardly spent any and lived rather well!) but enough is enough for now. Promise to be more brief in future. Next stop: Varanasi.
P.S. Sorry about the lack of photos, nowhere here has a thing for memory cards. Theres lots to come though!