Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Holy Jetlag, Batman

That's one whopping 13.5-hour time difference. Combined with the smog and dust of the city, these have been a couple of tired days. But it has been interesting and, more importantly, Lin and I are leaving tomorrow morning for Ladakh and some mountain time.

Delhi has been interesting - not so different from most other partially-developed nations and cities. Funny little three-wheeled cabs we call tuk-tuks, the familiar odd mixture of western advertising and man-handled local goods, 15th century architecture in the park, more haze than your lungs know what to do with, haggling for prices, and getting temporarily misplaced among the various streets marked in letters from a foreign language.

We went shopping for salwar kamis (local costume) and got me decked out, went running in the local park where coddled living-room plants grow heartily (ficus trees, even!), found the two closet-sized outdoor stores that exist in Delhi (get what you need before you come!), and I went for a stroll to India Gate and past the Parliament building.

There are 16million people in Delhi, and those without shelter end up everywhere, hawking trinkets to people at stoplights, sometimes begging in public spots, and occasionally bathing in the park fountains. Life can be rough here.

Enough of the flatlands. Orange-sunrise, that lowland haze, squawking birds in flowery trees (I finally know what bougainvilla looks like) - Rudyard Kipling makes a lot more sense now.

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