I decided to spend my vacation in New Dehli, India!
What a fascinating place filled with history, culture, hustle and millions of people. The landscape isn’t visually appealing to most. For me, however, I thought it was absolutely amazing!
I traveled with my son and a friend and her son. We arrived to the busy Indira Gandhi International airport, filled with curious onlookers waiting for their families, friends or the next paid transport gig. Prior to arriving in India, we arranged for the airport shuttle from the hotel to pick us up. At first, I was nervous because I never received an official confirmation from the hotel in regards to pick-up. So when I saw this sign, I was relieved!
They charged us around 180 rupees ($2.90) for a 1 way commute. I am certain that in US dollars, this is not a rip-off, however, before converting purchases into US dollars, everything seemed ridiculously overpriced! Yikes!
As a side note, if and when you ever visit Dehli, be aware of stray dogs EVERYWHERE!
We made it to our airport shuttle. I wasn’t aware that in India, they drive on the right side of the car. Oh boy, I thought. I am in for an adventure, especially since I selected to sit in the front seat! Yikes again!
Along the way, we saw women selling flowers and other items who wouldn’t accept no for an answer. This is a city that hustles! Unfortunately, I didn’t have any rupees to give her and she had no idea about dirhams!
Then, there was a women who was homeless and needed food to eat, which she communicated via hand gestures. I felt really bad yet again that I couldn’t be of any help. The more time I spent in Dehli, I recognized that this disparity was consistent throughout the city.
Our hotel was about 45 minutes from the airport. We stayed at the Palm D’or. I thought the same thing that you are probably thinking now: Oh, what a nice, luxury hotel. No! However, it wasn’t bad considering the cost for a three night stay. I paid $127 for three nights, which included breakfast. However, we didn’t entertain the breakfast option because it didn’t look very appetizing and only offered Indian cuisine. If you are familiar with New Dehli, this hotel is not very far from the Connaught place, a busy touristy area.
After getting checked in and solving the problem with the taxi driver, who obviously tried to convince us to pay more money because he knew we were American, we headed out for a night of interesting surprises in New Dehli!
Our first stop: Food!
We decided to eat at the Host, a traditional Indian restaurant in Connaught place. The restaurant had a very nice ambiance with great food selections. They even had Asian food options, which was great for my son since he is an extremely picky eater. However, he loves Naan bread, which is a staple for Indian meals. The total cost of my meal, which included my main Indian dish and Fried Rice for my son, juice, a soft drink and a order of Naan bread came to a whopping 1,000.00 rupees! Yea, I said the same thing, too until I opened up my handy currency converter on my I pad to find that this only equaled $16.00! 🙂
After all that spicy food, what better way to freshen your breath than with these mints!
Afterwards, we walked down the street, only to be greeted with a young lady selling flower bracelets and a couple of homeless men laying out on the street.
Devin took one of these beautiful flower bracelets. This lady was from Nepal and was very nice.
Then, all of a sudden, we heard one of the stray dogs barking very near to where we were standing. I’m not scared of dogs but my friend is soooo…on to the next one!
By the way, if you are a black woman in New Dehli, be prepared to get LOTS of attention from random groups of people who are merely interested in your skin color, hair and the way you talk. Everyone will stare at you and will want to take pictures. This group of men seemed fascinated by us as we waited for a toowk, toowk (sp).
We finally found a twook, twook driver by the name of Paul. Here he is! Isn’t he adorable!
We needed to head back to the hotel to get ready for our big day.
It was time to get rest so that we can be prepared for a full day ahead.
The next day was filled with sightseeing, the Taj Mahal, cooking with a local family and visiting an orphanage!
Stay tuned for the next blog entry about our full day in Agra, India!
Until next time, safe travels and be blessed!