Wednesday, 9 August 2017

New Delhi - Last Stop before Home

I heard so many stories about New Delhi. Mostly from travellers that I have met along the way in India. At one point I notice a pattern …. And my questions started to become generalized and assumption based ….. the base that Delhi is not a good place and the worst place in India. 

Apparently there was a lots of elaborate gimmick or scams going on in Delhi. Most tourist first time flies into Delhi to venture into Mother India on a spiritual journey. The more spiritual the journey the easier prey for the con artist that just want your money. After all one cannot embark on a spiritual journey without first encountering the evil of humanity. 

New Delhi
I have met so many so many and heard so many scams that tourist had been ripped off from. The road is closed .. the hotel is no longer in existence …. The choice of words are so profound that one should think and wonder how sophisticated these con artist are. Generally the con goes in a similar fashion that they find an excuse any excuse to discredit the place you are trying to go and bring you to a legitimate government authorized honest building. If those that don’t know it already … this is India … there is no such thing …..

Walking around Delhi I notice that there was a lot of these such buildings …. Look official, painted in all the right colours, good English educated friendly Indian that will gives you advice in anything that you might want to know …. Everything is genuine …. Until you need to spend money …. To buy a ticket or to book a hotel or to get a tour … that’s when one have to think twice or twenty times of how much should one really pay …. 

I was lucky that Delhi was the last stop and I had so much warning …. In a way I was immune and the last few days I had towards the end of my 1 year long trip for some reason was also hot tempered … I could get easily agitated by friendly people looking to help you out. My mind was most at peace when people left me alone …. Never before have I sought to travel a country that is not friendly towards it tourist but just plain neutral. 

I say Delhi is not a good place unless you are here with a local guide or have your fury burning at full power disdaining everyone that tries to befriend you …. The one and only true government tourist information centre apparently was genuine and very helpful according to one tourist that manage to find it ….

Finding it was an issue … you could not rely on any street locals for help for they will direct you to a dummy where the scam artist are. Not that all the locals are bad but just that these locals are either in consort with these dummies or because there are so many of these genuine dummies that the locals themselves think that its true genuine official. 

The nice German chap that found it .. Edward whom I met in Pushkar told me the only trick to knowing if it was a true blue Government tourist information for Delhi is that they are not authorized to sell anything …. No money …. No Booking No Tickets No Tips …. Pure information and help and guide … if only you could find it. 

Still it was Delhi. 

What did I do in Delhi …. Not much I would say. Sightseeing was out of my mind as I was mentally exhausted to appreciate any of the sights. I went Handicraft hunting for the 4 days that I was here. Jump from one bazaar to another bazaar to another official gov shop to another …. 

I could finally shop since it was the last stop before flying home. Time to rake in some souvenirs and stuff and since its India, things should be pretty cheap. I realized how dumb I was pretty quick. First stop was Dalli Haat a Handicraft Bazaar set up by the Gov of India that allows the genuine handicraft artist to display their works for free at the bazaar and no middle men …. Only the artist themselves must mend the stalls. 

Dalli Haat was a nice place quiet and peaceful with its artist gently poking you to see their wares but not too aggressive as a market free for all. The unique thing was that to enter one would need to pay an entry fee. It was 50 for foreigner and 20 for a local Indian. I look at it … and chuck Rs 20 rupee on the window with my displease look not a word uttered. The guy took one brief look at me and gave me the ticket …. I was a local now … India has no rules …. Rules on the board is more like a suggestion …. 

In the Bazaar I found more of the fav Rajasthan fine paintings … price was for two small size refine works of a peacocks it was Rs 2800 … I really think I strike a bargain in Jaipur now …. I did not buy anything despite looking around for 3 days … my taste in material stuff had risen after travelling a year …. Why buy junk … if you want to buy anything at all especially things that are not essential or practical … just for decoration .. it should be of the finest quality but also at a fair or in Indian standard …. CHEAP.  

3 days I scour Delhi for Handicraft …. Cottage Emporium, internal states emporium , markets, Janpath Market …. Bazaars … back alley streets …. and the result after 3 days of hunting is that I have bought nothing at all …. As I wait in the hostel for 6pm before I head towards the airport I wonder if the spare Rs 2000 that I have would get me any stuff worth its value at the airport …. 

It was time to go home … it has been a year since I started this travel … my second time around the world … time to fly home and see some familiar friends and family … a smile creep in as I think on where my next adventure will be …. And how long before I could put this plan in motion … 

It has been an eventful year

Travelled on : Aug 2015