Just arrived in Delhi last night, after a moderately tedious set of misadventures at the airport (delayed flight, invalid ticket, etc.). Haven’t really poked around the city yet–just got up and am searching for food, breakfast, etc., and trying to get a “feel” for the city. Mostly all I’ve noticed so far is that when I walk down the street, everyone stares at me. Oh yeah. Right. I *don’t* look “just like Indian people”. I’m going to have to figure out what to do about that–I’m tinkering with my invisibility shield, but I suspect I’ll have a hard time “passing” until I get to the Tibetan regions.
I haven’t quite decided what to do yet about India. I have five weeks, of which the last five to nine days are definitely slated for Dharamsala: the Dalai Lama is teaching in Dharamsala March 19-April 2! My flight leaves March 25, so I won’t be able to stay for the entire teaching, but I definitely want to sit in on a few days at least. I also want to spend some time in the Tibetan region where Lena has friends (learning Tibetan weaving techniques…it will be interesting to compare/contrast them with Akha, Lao, and hilltribe weaving styles, as the Akha are Tibetan in origin, migrating through China and Burma on the way to Thailand). I also want to be in the Tibetan region for Losar, the Tibetan New Year–March 3 this year.
But I don’t know that I want to spend all five weeks in Himachal Pradesh (the province where both those are), so I’m looking through my guidebook and considering options. Agra of course is a draw, as it seems a pity to miss the Taj Mahal, as is Rajasthan, because it has tiger preserves! Going off to see a wild tiger sounds like great fun. The little travelingtiger wants to meet his relatives… 🙂
But, nothing’s decided yet, and won’t be until I’ve had a little time to acclimate. And buy some warmer clothes: it’s cooler here in Delhi, and it’s going to be downright chilly in Dharamsala, I suspect..
Delhi, at least so far, is not nearly as bad as I expected, and not nearly as bad as Vietnam. Okay, at least three people have tried to con me so far, and the taxi driver tried very hard to hijack me to an expensive hotel (they get commissions), and there are people everywhere trying for your attention, but the style of scam here appears to be more deception and pleading than outright intimidation–I find that easier to deal with. But I’ve only been here a few hours–we’ll see how it goes.
off to a cafe to eat breakfast and pick up the “beat” of the area…but welcome to Delhi!
P.S. I normally hate Indian food, so this should be an interesting part of the trip…but after dog, rat, and scorpion, how bad can curry be??