A holiday in Delhi is about as relaxing as a picnic with Ivan Milat – with only slightly less chance of ending up dead. This place truly is a roundhouse kick to the senses; it’s frighteningly loud, blindingly bright, and somewhere that should be experienced for the shock factor alone.
When I stepped out of my hotel this morning, groggy and half asleep from my epic 30-hour journey from Bagan, I didn’t know what I was in for. The crush of people started as soon as I stepped out the front door, and didn’t let up as I wandered blindly through the streets. Horns blared constantly, drums thumped, people yelled. The smell of curry hung over the streets like a thick fog, and the blazing sun beat down on me. It’s everything I’ve been told it is, but nothing could prepare me for actually experiencing it.
Yep, this place is busier than Candy Falzon’s ring piece at an end-of-season piss up. Beijing, Hong Kong and the other mega cities I’ve been to did nothing to prepare me for the overpowering tide of people here. Just walking around is the best form of sightseeing, but I did still go to the Lahore Gate (I’ve seen plenty of Lahore’s gates in the past, but this was the biggest. Alright, second biggest – the one on that chick from Canberra was so big I needed to lay a trail of bread crumbs just to find my way back out). Along with the Red Fort, it was nothing amazing, but a nice chance to (somewhat) escape the hordes and check out some old buildings.
As I was walking back, I got caught up in a street parade. I don’t know if today is a special day, or this sorta shit just happens all the time (they’re an excitable bunch, the Indians. They probably set off fireworks and dance down the street every time they crack a boner). They bloody loved me, though, and happy little chaps dressed in orange kept racing over to wiggle their arses for me.
The parade was big and loud enough to put the Gay Mardi Gras to shame, and there were very few blokes kissing each other, which is another tick. There were heaps of trannies on floats, though, so maybe it was just their version of the same thing. The trannies weren’t a patch on Rara and the Bali blokes-with-boobs, either – they were mainly fat blokes with too much makeup on.
Everywhere I went, tuk-tuks were almost running into me, or people were bumping into me, or yelling at me, or trying to rob me. That’s a big problem here and something potential visitors need to be aware of – if you’re out and about, people will be watching you and working out how to nick your stuff. I constantly had seedy pieces of shit eyeing me off, and if I’d let my guard down for a moment, I would’ve found myself in trouble. It can be a dangerous city, but keep your wits about you and you’ll be fine.
After seven or so hours of walking through the insanity that is Delhi, it all become too much and I scurried back to my hotel room. It’s important to have a nice, quiet, clean place to stay in this city. The streets are such an epic mindfuck, on a level most people have never experienced before, that you need somewhere to hide away and relax. I truly can’t believe that people live this way, it’s just mental.
Tragically, it’s almost impossible to find beer in Delhi, which is probably for the best because dealing with this city after 10 cans would probably make a fella’s eyeballs explode. Oh well, I’ll see if I can find a curry hot enough to make my vision blur and allow me to convince myself that I’m better looking than I really am.