Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Settling into Delhi

Well I’ve been in Delhi for ten days and have now settled into my temporary home. I have a mobile phone with a Delhi number (00 91 97 1101 8492) and today I got an internet connection for my laptop so I don’t have to sit in sweaty internet cafés - I can sweat it out in the “comfort” of my own room instead. To be fair my room does have an en-suite bathroom and a fan but it’s basically a nun’s cell so I’m looking forward to moving to Bhawanipatna where I can at least put up pictures on the wall - not allowed here, I’ve tried. You do however get to meet lots if interesting people in the hostel. For example, the Dongria Tribe, who are fighting for their land and livelihood and who I gather have been in the British press and News at Ten recently, were staying here whilst they waited for the outcome of their case at the Supreme Court.

The Oriya lessons are going well although I need to put in a bit more work on the vocabulary front it’s just there’s so much else to do - eating, shopping etc. We went on a whistle-stop tour of Delhi last Saturday which I’m convinced took in absolutely everything you can possibly see - even if you were only given 10 minutes at each place. Oh sorry - apart from the Red Fort (Delhi’s primary tourist attraction) because, “Lot’s of people have seen pictures of it, it is very busy round there and difficult to get to”! I must say the highlight, just for the sheer bizarreness, was the bit at the end of the tour when a man got on the bus and tried to sell us lemon squeezers - complete with a TV-shopping-channel-style pitch and demonstration. Not quite sure what he did with the lemons but the squeezer doesn’t work nearly as well when you get it home - well mine doesn’t.

Off to see the Taj Mahal this weekend and, funnily enough, we’ve decided to skip the guided bus tour.

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