What a day. Another brutally hot day at 42 degrees, when Abi asked how people can live in this daily I really could not answer other than to say “they must be used to it”
We barely slept last night due to the heat, after tossing and turning who however long I checked the temperature at 1 am and it was 34 degrees. Dogs outside were barking and moto horns were consistent throughout.
We decided to visit Delhi’s supposedly best site – Humayans Tomb. It basically is a collection of tombs set across loads of acres of immaculate grounds. Those who know me know that I love architecture, particularly in religious buildings so I was really looking forward to Humayans tomb. It was 250 Rupees with kids free. You have to understand that Delhi is a dirty city, it really is, it is like a city built on a tip in the desert. There is constantly dust over everything, rubbish strewn everywhere and the stench of urine and faeces are a regular smell.
So, when you go to somewhere like Humayans Tomb it is even better, suddenly you see lush green grass, well kept gardens, not a piece of rubbish in sight and the sweet smell of flowers and aged buildings in the air. To say the grounds were immaculate is an understatement, they were pristine. Humayans tomb itself (the one in the picture) is simply stunning. A UNESCO world heritage site quite understandably it is a breath of fresh air in Delhi and almost feels out of place.
Sadly our trip was hurried across 2 hours due to the crippling mid day heat and unforgiving sun.
When we left the day took a familiar turn. Back to normality, back to having every one trying to rip us off. During the journey back in the Rickshaw they driver tried every single trick in the book.
1 – Where we wanted to go was closed, really. Not to worry though, the driver knew a better place he could take us. – I declined his offer and amazingly where we were going was open.
2 – He pulled up at a tall so we could get some stuff to drink and eat – even though I told him we didn’t want to. – I threatened to get out and despite the hard sell we left.
3 – He took us to the zoo. Why? Because the kids would love it – The reality is because it is in the middle of nowhere and I would then be forced to use a Rickshaw to get anywhere, at an inflated price of course. – I told him one more thing and we would get out without paying.
Genuinely I have had enough of the people of Delhi. It is a sweeping generalisation I know, but I have not met a single person who has not been out to fleece me. Take this example – We went to McDonalds for an ice cold large Sprite. Usually when someone speaks to us I ignore them, nasty I know but it is the only thing that works and stops the constant hounding. Anyway, this guy was well dressed and started talking about the World Cup and how he loves England. He asked what part of England I was from and I told him Yorkshire. We chatted for a bit and then we left, I was amazed that for the first time I had actually spoken to a genuine Indian guy. We left McDonalds and about 5 minutes later some guy comes up to me “Hello sir, let me guess you are English, I want to live in Yorkshire can you help me” I couldn’t believe it. The guy must have phoned his mate to come and strike up some conversation and the scam me.
Delhi has not lived up the expectations to be honest. The constant hounding mixed with dust and dirt, foul smells and brutal heat make every day an absolute chore. I have tried to deflect anything from the kids but people trying to shake their hands, touch their ears and the constant glaring has been tiring. It seems that every single person in Delhi is out to rip you off and I make no apologies to any genuine Delhi citizens who take offence. I didn’t find one person, not even the police at the train station who I asked for directions then wanted paying! Seriously, come to Delhi and be on your guard, thankfully I have been to the Far East and was well aware of what to look out for. But come here not knowing and you will get absolutely shafted. In terms of bringing the kids, it’s certainly an experience they will never forget but there is no real draw for them that other places do not offer. Nothing really in Delhi is worth the hassle of a visit – as beautiful as some of its historical sites are.
I just want to point out that I understand the desperation of some people when they see a Westerner; I know that some people are clinging to life by a thread and their only option is to beg. But the willingness to rip people off is viral in Delhi and puts a massive stain on the city.
We leave tomorrow for Agra and when the train pulls out of New Delhi Train station at 0615 I won’t look back. Or maybe I will, just to smile and be glad to be finally leaving Delhi behind.