At 5am there is already much traffic on the roads but there is also a quiet to the city. By 10:30, the atmosphere is quite different. The heat of the day has already set in and the streets are teeming with cars, buses, tuktuks, auto-rickshaws, scooters, bicycles, and pedestrians. New York City has nothing on this traffic or the frequency with which drivers honk their horns. And to say that the line markers in the roads are merely a suggestion is an understatement.
Being that I brought only the clothes on my back, I had to do some shopping. A friend recommended going to Fabindia in Connaught Place so I ventured over. Walking out with the wardrobe for my journey I felt more confident in my ability to “blend in” after all, I am dark haired and olive skinned. Spoiler alert: no matter what I wear, I don’t blend in.
Anyhow, the remainder of the day was spent visiting the Red Fort, Raj Ghat, and Lotus Temple. I was meant to go to one more temple but fell asleep along the way and opted to return to my friends’ home and rest up.
So today is my second day in India. I have eaten amazing Indian food at my friends’ home and slept way too late. However before arriving at the New Delhi train station, I had the opportunity to visit India Gate and the gov’t complex which presents like a palace.
I wish photography was allowed at the train station. I arrived very early for my train to Amritsar expecting the station to be very confusing but it is not. After searching for a place to wait, I finally ventured into the ladies only waiting room. It is shaded and there are fans blowing so that brings the temperature down to a cool 95° – but it’s a dry heat (ha!). I’m so glad I have booked an a/c car.
The train was about 30 minutes behind schedule. The ride was relatively uneventful – just long. It was made even longer when, right before the Amritsar station, the train stopped. It was pitch black but I stepped between the cars and saw nothing but red signals ahead. I did take a photo of a marker that was right by where I was standing. Now the train is an hour behind schedule. There are only a few of us left in the train car and here is where I realize I don’t blend in. Folks have started switching seats and chatting with one another yet no one even wonders if I understand (and I don’t).
I have finally arrived in Amritsar – 2.5 hours behind schedule. Judging by some of the delays on the other lines, that’s relatively on time!
Posting pics tomorrow.