India: Oct 8: Humayum's Tomb and Old Delhi at night

This was a lazy day as I got acclimated to the timezone and feel of India.

We stayed in a friend's house. Due to the building's design, the only reflected light came in the window, making it appear twilight regardless of the time of day. Partially for this reason and partially due to jet lag, I slept until noon.

I later observed that this architectural structure was not uncommon in Rajasthan. It's a smart technique for coping in hot climates where one doesn't want direct sunlight yet still desires natural indoor lighting.

Once up, we headed to a delightful (non-Indian) place (Chokola) in an upscale shopping district (Khan Market) for lunch and the best chocolate drinks I've had in my life. We liked this place so much we returned to it when we were back in Delhi near the end of my visit.

We then spent a while on this warm afternoon (like all days in India) exploring the very peaceful Humayun's Tomb complex. It's Mughali architecture, in the style that would later become the Taj Mahal.

In the early evening, we had a snack at the friend's house in which we were staying: custard apples! Our friend was an excellent host. In addition to our custard apples, he provided Kingfisher beer, assorted nuts, and lively conversation. Our discussions ranged from living rooms and natural light, and real estate in America, India, and Tanzania, to safety in African cities at night, and a tremendously good and uniquely positioned Italian restaurant in Kilifi, Kenya.

Finally, we braved the craziness in Old Delhi for another amazing meal (Indian this time) at Karim's. Karim's was one of the best meals I had in India. The saucing on all the dishes was complex.

Old Delhi at night was intense and crowded. The streets smelled like a bathroom. People slept in the streets. Old Delhi is a conservative part of town, and Muslim. Women work black burkas. Beggars begged at the windows of cars (though that happened everywhere in India, not just here).

After a brief stop to see India Gate, we returned to our friend's apartment and chilled. I stayed up later than everyone else chatting with one of our host's housemates about Indian governance. (She's a solicitor doing public policy work.) (I couldn't go to sleep for a while because I wasn't supposed to lie down too soon after taking my anti-malaria medication.)

I took many pictures during this day; they provide many more details.

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