Thursday, 7 July 2011

On the Streets of Delhi

I decided to take the bull by the horns today and venture out into the streets of Delhi.  Wow.  What an experience!  Equipped with the cell phone lent to me by the owner of the Bed and Breakfast and 2000 Rps lent to me by TC, I decided that today I would leave the comfort of my room.

I showered and got ready and then went to find someone to help me.  I walked up and down the stairs, but couldn't find anyone and the lobby door was locked.  It was hot and humid and I knew I would be hungry soon.  So, I took out the cell phone and tried to call the owner of the B&B and got the message "this number is unavailable."  I called it again - same message.  Weird.  First, I stared at the phone.  Then I stared at his business card.  As I looked at the number on the business card a third time, I noticed a plus sign in front of the first two numbers.  Somehow the first two numbers are special?  Think I'll ignore the first two numbers and dial again.  Success!  The sound of the B&B owners voice never sounded so good.  He said he would send someone up with a map right away.  Phew!  I was going to be able to have lunch, after all!

I studied the map and took a deep breath.  It was time to leave the building and find some food.  I exited the building and took a left.  Everyone was staring at me.  And there was a huge truck in the middle of the street that I had to get around.  I squeezed through the tiny space between the truck and the gate and made it to the end of the street.  My senses were overloaded, but I just kept walking and was relieved to see the market up ahead.  The bad news was I had to cross a busy street to get to it.  I looked around and there were no crosswalks.  People were just walking into traffic and cars were honking.  Gah!  Would I ever get to eat?!?

I stepped into the honking traffic and made my way across the street praying that I wouldn't get killed.  And as I entered the market, I saw it.  McDonalds!!  Woo hoo!  Now time to get some cash.  I knew I had TC's cash as a back-up plan, but I wanted to do this by myself - without his help.  So, I made my way to the nearest cash machine.  With my own money in hand, I went into McDonald's and ordered my chicken McNugget value meal.  Life was good!

Once my tummy was full, I realized it was time to go home.  Unfortunately, I had been so overwhelmed by everything on the way to the market that I didn't know my way back.  I didn't really know what to do, so I went and hung out in a bookstore for awhile contemplating my next step.  I bought a book and then walked through the market a few more times.  Still, nothing looked familiar.  I knew the market was overall in the shape of a square, so I decided to walk around the outside of the market.  And there it was.. the busy intersection!  I happily stepped into the on-going traffic and made my way back to my room.  Things were looking familiar!  I couldn't wait to set foot in my room.

I quickened my pace in the heat and realized I was lost again.  I made a wrong turn.  I knew I had to get to D-193.  Good news is I was in block D.  Bad news in the numbers were too low.  I was hot and sweaty and was beginning to think I would never find my room.  Thankfully, my brain came to my rescue.  As I stopped in the middle of the street and looked around me all the numbers started to form a map in my head.  I knew how to get back!

Roaming the streets of Delhi by myself was clearly outside my comfort zone.  It was overwhelming and sometimes scary, but I did it and feel great about it!


  1. Awesome..Congrats. My senses are used to such overloads being from delhi. I love travelling and have no problem when lot of people are around me and minding their business.I have time to read them without generating any wrong impression. But a pub or a bar is a different story. Wish you all the best, keep blogging.


  2. Thanks Nitin! Where have you traveled to recently? I want to explore the world!