3:55 PM New Delhi India
Today my eyes were opened to a whole new world. I ate breakfast with the rest of the guys from woodstock school in the dining room of the YWCA in new delhi. We had eggs vegetables toast and fanta soda to drink. I could tell it rained last night by the puddles that lined the streets. Even in the morning horns were honking constantly. Nonstop horns can get annoying.
We left the YWCA to check out the city at about 10:40 and our first stop was this temple that was pretty close to where we were staying. I cant remember the precise spelling but it sounded like they were saying it was the Siak Temple. Their religion is different from the common Hinduism beliefs and when we entered the temple we had to remove our shoes and put a headdress over our heads in order to be allowed in. There was loud music playing and people everywhere bowing to this shrine in the middle of the room. We walked around for a minute and admired the architecture of the marble building. One fascinating thing about this religion is that every meal they have free food for everyone. Literally everyone from the poor to travelers no matter what race, gender, occupation, or anything. Volunteers donate food and they give their time to cook it and set it out for anyone to eat. We didn’t stay to eat but it would have been crazy to see the amount of people that probably showed up.
From there we started walking further into the city and as we got closer to the shops the number of people increased. I was told it was nothing like what i will see tonight. We went into shops that had really different T-shirts with designs that reminded me of my hipster sister. Most of the poor people stayed around these shops looking for change. Kutty, the man that guided us and the man that will be in charge of us at Woodstock, instructed me not to make eye contact with them to avoid their persistent begging. It was almost unbearable not to give them everything i had. I just had to shake my head and keep my head straight. Sometimes they would follow me for a long time just saying please sir and i just had to keep walking. One major difference in being back home and being here is hardly anyone says excuse me or thank you. I assume its implied or something but it was strange when i would bump into people or just pass them and they would look at me strangely for apologizing or saying excuse me. I still have to get used to not being as polite as im used to.
We took the subway to one of Kutty’s friends hotels. His friends father was the leader of the first Indian expedition to the summit of Mt Everest. In his office pictures lined the walls of his father and important people shaking hands. His hotel was ranked in the top 15 in the area if i can recall correctly. He had lunch prepared for us by his cook who has won awards for his dish’s. The food was delicious ive never had anything like it. For something sweet we had this thing they called a sugar ball. It basically tasted like moist marsh mellow. It is apparently good fried as well. I didnt particularly like it but im pretty picky. We took the train back to our side of town and walked back to the YWCA in order to rest because the crew was still pretty jet lagged. Im wide awake though. I cant get enough of this city. Everything has caught my attention, especially the architecture of all the buildings. They are completely different from any type of building ive ever seen. We plan to go out tonight in order to see get dinner and people watch. This should be fun.
Most the pictures are from tonight. I didnt want to have my camera out while we walked through the city especially because if you dont watch where your going your going to get hit. Tonight we took a bus into a very populated part of the city and we ate dinner at a restaurant Rashi knew of. I dunno if it was just really good or i was really hungry but i was downing some spicy chicken. On the walk back Kutty complemented me by saying i was getting braver for crossing the streets on my own accord. I must have looked like a child today because i wouldnt cross unless i had enough room to walk across the road. Tonight i was hopping between cars and motorcycles trying to look like i knew what i was doing. I didnt. At 5 tomorrow morning we will board a train and make our way North to Mussoori. From what ive heard this is a paradise in India, I cant wait.