Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Two Girls One Rut


Hello devoted followers,
I'm sure you all have been impatiently awaiting our next post, sitting restlessly at your computers, pressing the refresh button every 30 seconds, wondering what kind of shenanigans Dayna and I are up to. Well, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that we have a new post. The bad news is that you likely have obsessive compulsive disorder, and should probably consider seeking help.

Anyways, OCD probably would have helped up survive the filthy city of New Delhi. In fact Dayna recently reported that she witnessed a homeless man throwing up at the same time that a random shoe fell on her head. I'm not sure how that story helps my point, but I thought it was worth mentioning. From Thursday night to Tuesday morning we stayed in an area called Pahar Ganj. Of course travelling half the way across the world landed us in a place that should really be called Little Israel. Pahar Ganj has been established as the hot spot for Israeli backpackers in Delhi. It was hilarious to see how big of an influence Israeli tourists have had on the neighborhood. Store signs all over the area were mainly written in English, Hindi and Hebrew. Some stores even offered their prices in shekels (Israeli currency). What our stay in Pahar Ganj taught me was that undergoing 12 years of Jewish education is not necessary in consolidating the most important Jewish skill, which is having perceptive Jew-dar (Jew-dar [noun]: The ability to spot a fellow member of the tribe from a mile way). It was a shock to learn that some of the best Jew-dar afficionados are local Pahar Ganj hustlers.

Anyways as hilarious as those hustlers were at first, they quickly became the bane of our existence. In Pahar Ganj it was impossible for us to take 2 steps without hearing someone yelling at us in Hebrew to lure us to their shop.We wanted to get Delhi over with as soon as possible. Being a tourist in Delhi was incredibly exhausting. It was dirty, loud, smelly, spread out and full of those relentless hustlers. On Saturday we visited Lodi Garden, a beautiful, serene park, which surrounded beautiful ruins from the 15th century. We spent the day reading, playing cards, exploring and people-watching. I think the most astonishing thing about our trip to the park was that I can actually use the word 'serene' to describe anything in New Delhi. I can testify as a first-hand witness that Dayna's skin was beginning to develop a subtle green tint and that her shirt had already been partly ripped. Our trip to the park was the only thing preventing Dayna from transforming into the female Incredible Hulk. I can't vouch for myself, but there were rumors going around that steam was beginning to shoot out of my ears as my eyes were transforming into rotating spirals. On a scale of 1 to Mahmoud Ahmadinijad at a Village People reunion tour, we would probably rate our discomfort and frustration at around 8.

Okay so I'm exaggerating a bit. Along with our day in the park, I was really happy that we had the opportunity to use the Metro a few times. We interacted with a whole new breed: the metropolitan Indian. And by interacted with I mean was stared at by people who far exceeded the 5 second limit for socially acceptable ogling. Other than the socially unacceptable ogling, our interactions with people in Delhi were great. Specifically near tourist attractions, we were constantly approached by Indian tourists requesting a picture with us. I loved talking to people who were eager to share their lives with us. Everyone we spoke to was incredibly friendly, despite the difficult language barrier. More importantly, just about every joke I made (even the cheesy ones) was met with huge laughter. Either I'm actually that funny or I permanently have a booger hanging from my nose. I think its the latter.

Alright, alright, I suppose its time for me to tell you about what you've all been waiting for: the tourist attractions. However, since I'm tired and unwilling to pay 25 rupees more for Internet I'll keep this short and sweet: it was good. Just kidding, I can't pull that two times in a row. But desperate times call for desperate measures, so instead of a detailed description I'll finish this up in point form:
  • Red Fort: constructed by a Mughal emperor in the 1600's (same guy who constructed the Taj Mahal)
  • Jain Temple: beautiful shrines, intricate artwork that presumably depicted some of the important myths (the captions were in Hindi)
  • Bird hospital (inside the Jain temple): Yes you heard me correctly, a bird hospital. Although it looks like a scene from a hypothetical sequel of The Birds, the hospital is a testament to the undiscriminating compassion of the Jain religion
  • Humayan's tomb: Majestic building, dead guy
  • Bahai Lotus Temple: Shaped like a lotus
As much as I would love to describe these monuments in further detail, I would be doing you a great disservice by preventing you from taking your own mini trip to the most majestic site of them all: I just don't have the heart to do that to such loyal readers.

1 comment:

  1. hi ade and dayna
    not sure if you've sold me on a trip to india but i'm definitely enjoying your adventures
    keep on rolling and reporting
    a loyal reader (and an aunt of ade's)