Its Monday 12th March and I can’t believe we have only been on Delhi a week! We have done so much and I have seen so many new things! On Saturday we went on an adventure through the Delhi Metro for the first time! It is amazing and I would recommend any one to try it: if you are female and travelling on your own there are Lady only carriages. Its cheap, clean and fast. The current exchange rate is about RS75 to the £ - a ticket to our destination about 12 stops away was RS18! We travelled to the Rajiv Market to buy surge protectors as the supply can be unreliable and we have had a couple of short power cuts. I managed to change my English currency at a Thomas Cooks - the banks aren’t at all interested in changing money so street vendors or Thomas Cook seems to be the best deals! After this we went to the the Concordia centre to have a lok around shops and have some lunch. Now a word of very useful advice for all likely travellers to Delhi: look for a restaurant where the locals are queing to get in - it will be cheap and delicious and well worth the wait!
Sunday 11th March and a trip to Old Delhi guided by 2 of our fellow volinteers who have been in Delhi a little while already. The metro trip was easy a sexpected. I forgot to mention they are very strict on security here and you are scanned when entering the metro and your bags xrayed just like going onto a plane. This happens when entering shops sometimes too. The tube station for Old Delhi was next to the one for New Delhi so easy enough to find. The area is very different though - narrow crowded streets, rickshaws everywhere, electricity wires just span from one side of the street to the other like jumbled washing lines. We took a Rickshaw to the worlds largest spice Market - the aromas were really quite overwhelming and many of us had watering eyes, coughs and runny noses from the sheer volume of spices in the air - it was truely an experience!
We had lunch in another one of the restaurants where people were queing down the street - there were 12 of us so we had to wait awhile. Then we were hurries in to settle at a table where the previous customers had not yet finished their lunch but the table was laid around them - what better way to say hurry up! This was again lovely and one of the few places I have eaten that actually serve real meat - mutton and chicken - my new favourite dish is now Butter chicken!
It was back to the class room this morning for Hindi lessons and I think its coming on quite well: Mein hindi sikhana chahti ho: I want to learn Hindi.