Arrived at Delhi

Sep 08, 2007 in

Well, got to Delhi safe and gotta tell you… it’s stunning in every meaning of the word – both horrid and fascinating, beautiful and hideous.
When you look at Indian cities at night from above, you can see the main streets, the city, the settlements around them just by looking at the lights on the pitch black ground. It looks beautiful and makes me understand why certain people measure a civilization on how much energy they can consume. I mean, light is a clear sign of civilization. I tried to capture these views with my cam but it didn’t turn out well. Those cities kinda look like scattered galaxies or gold-glowing coral reefs… However, Delhi is a galaxy big as hell. It reached up to the horizon, it’s just endless!

The area where I arrived looked like a pile of god damned ruins in an end time roman where nobody seems to care for maintenance and the people nest in little holes and corners or use them as a rubbish dump. The same applies for roads and, especially, for pavements. Poverty is all over the place, everywhere you look. But you can feel that this city is alive, unlike those in end time romans. Like the poverty, you can’t ignore that, it’s hard to explain.

For example drivers rather hoot or shout than to bother to look who has right of way (if this even exists here), who else is on the street, just to get themselves noted or just because. The traffic looks more like a car race than everything else. The taxi cars, the Ambassadors, are old “reliable” cars that feel like a wagon of rusty metal with a sofa in it as the front seats. The seatbelts are a joke and if the Ambassador is forced to move forward, it resists, howls, creaks and stutters until it stubbornly gives in….
I love it! The taxi driver even furnished his taxi like a second home.

My hotel is located in the backpacker area Paharganjsch, main bazaar road. There are a bunch of truly cool people here: A British student who has been teaching English in Vietnam, Cambodia, India and other countries, the French dude who stopped his study for several years now to travel the (Asian) world, the Indian who got the book “Mein Kampf” and read it out of curiosity, the German girl that converted to Islam and works at the Goethe-Institute in Pakistan now and many other stoned and/or interesting backpackers who partially have been traveling in India for months or even years now.
Also, the hotel was the place where I first got in touch with Indian toilets. They don’t have toilet paper here, instead, you are expected to wash it off using your left hand and water. As an Indian stated it once: “If someone shit into your face, would you rather use paper or water to clean it off?” ;-)

Tried to catch Delhi at night
The taxi driver with his Ambassador
Anup Hotel
View from the hotel
Indian installation skillz
Indian toilets