India: Oct 22: Rajpath, and Recovering from an overnight train

Given that it's hard to get a great night's sleep on a overnight train, we had a lazy day as we recovered. Our train arrived in Delhi early in the morning. We headed to our friend's apartment (where we were staying again) to drop our stuff off. We attempted to go to the coffee shop down the street, but it wasn't open! What kind of coffee shop doesn't open until 10am?

Instead, we returned home. I ate some guavas. We'd been carrying these around for days (since Udaipur, I think), waiting for them to ripen. We also ate some very good potato parantha made by our friend's maid/cook/help. It mostly consisted of the filling, with enough dough to keep it together: that's how it should be. And it had just the right amount of salt.

After breakfast, full and bored, I decided to take a nap as my friends planned where to go after I left town.

After I woke, I ate a sweet or two from one of the boxes we'd been carrying for ages, then the three of us took a rickshaw to the Rajpath.

Rajpath is analogous to Washington D.C.'s lawn (a.k.a. National Mall). It runs from a famous monument, India Gate, past many open lawns, past the parliament buildings, to the president's residence.

Walking the Rajpath was quite soothing compared with walking almost any other place in any other city we visited in India: no smells, no honking, and people obeyed the lights. How weird!

Elsewhere in New Delhi
After the Rajpath, we took the metro to Connaught Place (CP). The metro was as efficient and clean as I remembered. It uses what appears to be cheap plastic tokens but are actually RFID chips. The government still searched bags at the entrance, though they waved me right by. I guess I don't look like a terrorist in the eyes of Indian police.

As the metro was new, although the Indian government built a good quality system, the riders still need to get used to it. People need to learn to let others get off before attempting to get on.

In CP, we stopped by a Costa Coffee. There, we met a friendly Pakistani man who quickly told us his life story (he lived in Las Vegas once) and gave us good wishes.

Taking a rickshaw back to our friend's place, I observed rickshaw drivers have no patience at roundabouts. If they enter at one side and want to leave at the exact opposite, they'll usually drive a straight line across the multiple lanes of traffic, pass adjacent to the island, then cut across more lanes of traffic to leave. No one bothers merging and driving the circumference until needing to exit!

In the evening, our friend drove us to Buzz, a hip restaurant known more for its scene and its alcohol license than its food. We met some of his friends there.

After dinner, some people from our group started dancing on the tiny dance floor. Others joined them. The place became hopping. I chilled.

For a few more details on the day, especially sightseeing and dinner, look at these pictures.

No comments: