More From Delhi

With three days of Delhi exploration under our belts, the differences and similarities between here and the U.S. are interesting. To be sure the
similarities are from our experiences thus far few.
Walking to breakfast this morning in our hotel it was quirksome to say the least to hear Bing Crosby’s White Christmas in a place where I suspect it never
snows and there’s nary a pine or spruce tree to be found. I guess such is the nature of hotels that attempt to serve the international traveler.
Humans seem to be able to quickly acclimate to surroundings. The air I mentioned previously as having a taste of smoke seems almost natural now. So too is
the fact that I barely notice the citrus scent piped throughout our hotel.
We’ve been exploring Delhi with the assistance of a driver. This is really a must for the India visitor as driving for anyone not familiar to traffic here
would be a near impossibility.
The curious part of me wonders about these folks that work as drivers. Ours, a friendly chap by the name of Mr. Sudama, has been a driver for more than 23
years. Unlike taxi drivers in the U.S., where the meter would be running every minute of the day, Mr. Sudama waits contentedly with the car as we visit the
sites. Aimee tells me she sees him chatting with other drivers and I suspect this is an entire subculture.
The sites have been plenty. We’ve strolled the paths of Lodhi Garden, explored India’s history at the National Museum, saw huts from many Indian villages at
a place known as the Craft Museum, wandered the courtyard of the Jama Masjid, India’s largest Mosque, visited Raj Ghat, cremation place of Gandhi as well as
Nehru and Indira Gandhi and her sons, drove through the Chandni Chowk or Moon Market, and visited Humayun’s Tomb, a monument to the second Mughal emperor and
much more.
Our visits were much more than checking off items on a shopping list of “must see? tourist destinations. The contrasts that are India were brought home to
me for example by seeing groups of school children on an obvious field trip to Raj Ghat teasing each other, playing tag and generally being kids away from
the classroom–carefree and having fun. Yet in the same day many kids of the same age came up to the car windows begging. “Two Rupees, two rupees, Hello
Sir, Hello Madam.” What fate of fortunate puts some of these kids in polished shoes, clean school uniforms with the opportunity to frolic in the sun while
others beg for survival?