Sept 4, 2014
Back in India! Landed in Delhi at midnight after 20 hours on Air France. Great food, tiny seats that killed my back, but all seems to be ok. Sat next to two Spaniards and after talking in Spanish for six hours I now find myself accidentally speaking Spanish to people here in Delhi. Hey, at least it’s a foreign language! I have resolved to learn a good bit of Hindi on this trip.
It’s pretty hot and humid. Only 85f, but 80% humidity makes it pretty heavy. Certainly bearable though. I started in Mumbai a month earlier two years ago and it was pretty brutal. 95f with 80% humidify is a lot different than 85.
I’ve been here about 12 hours and I’ve already dropped all my camera gear off for a thorough cleaning at the nearby Canon service center (Barakambha Road, Delhi). Awesome place, impeccable service. As a “Level 5 Master Service Center” they can clean or repair almost anything Canon makes, and very reasonable. About $30 for a camera cleaning including sensor, and cleaning for three lenses.
In these same 12 hours I’ve gotten a haircut, $1.75, and I grossly overpaid since he did such a good job, and I’ve had two new pairs of long pants made, about $15 for both, which is expensive for India, but they’re tailor made.
I’m staying in Paharganj, the tourist bazaar that is regarded by many to be a bit of a hell on earth - filthy, loud, crowded, full of scammers. It’s where most tourists on a budget stay in Delhi though, at least for short periods of time. I’ve stayed here many times, and I’ve learned that you get out of it what you put into it. It’s not a generally happy place, but if you bring something to the equation people perk up and the India spirit comes out.
I visited the kids at the local intersection who do acrobatics at the stoplights for money. Also met a mom and her ridiculously adorable 3-year-old Shanti, and was immediately reminded of why I love India so much. I will meet them tomorrow and give her one of the small knit dolls that my Mom’s friend Grace gave me to distribute on this trip.
Raining now and with my camera in the shop till tomorrow I’m catching up on work and getting over the jetlag. I laid down for a little nap earlier and woke up nine hours later, sleep deprivation from the long flight. Leaving in 48 hours for Myanmar (Burma). Missing family but still excited to be traveling again.
Please include your name and e-mail to receive an acknowledgment of your shipment and a receipt.