Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Delhi Impressions

At the entrance of my hotel is a metal detector. Every time I pass through it, it peeps. Then I climb the stairs where a doorman opens the door for me, he does not check my bag, he's only there to open the door ...

In front of the Tibetan village I was approached by a man with a colossal cotton bud who offered me an on-the-street-ear-cleaning. Since he and his tool didn't seem to conform to Swiss hygiene standards, I politely declined ...

Saw the Red Fort from various angles, India Gate through a veil of haze, Parliament House through exhaust fumes ...

Got stuck in a sort of parking lot at Chandni Chowk, the cars were parked in such a way that there was simply no way of getting out ...

And then there's the constant honking. When I once felt to comment on it to my taxi driver, I only at the very last moment realised that he himself was a very active contributor to this deafening noise ...

Moreover, two things regularly come to mind:
A student of mine in Istanbul, who, when I commented on the many Turks on the Galata Bridge, asked whether I had ever been to Delhi.
And this quote from Spalding Gray's Impossible Vacations:
"Like the trip from the airport into Amsterdam, the ride into Delhi was confusing; but there was no time to reflect on it. We both held on for dear life as the cab careened through streets of chaos. I only had time for two thoughts: one, how Gandhi had ever imagined he could bring peace and order to such a place, and two, that I did not want to die here and that was what I felt was about to happen."

No comments: