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Around The World, Part Ten

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Our Round The World Trip home page is here.
Part Nine is here.

October 12 (Friday, Day 11, Bangkok to Delhi) –

We walked around the area near the hotel in Bangkok one last time in order to find a shop to print our photos for our postcards.  We succeeded and then went back to the hotel to lounge around and pack before we left at 3:00 for the airport.  We got to use the Thai International lounge due to Snookums’ gold membership level in US Airways.  It was nice, but not as nice as ANA’s at Narita. 
Thai International


But, we were able to eat lunch/dinner and relax before the flight to Delhi.  The plane didn’t have seatback videos and the movie that was being shown was “License to Wed” which Snookums watched on the flight to Tokyo so she ended up just reading for the short 4 hour flight.  Dinner was served and it was a chicken curry.  At the end of the flight every passenger was given a 3 orchid corsage since that must be Thai International’s trademark.

As soon as we stepped off the plane and onto the jetway, Snookums could tell we were in a poor country.  The jetway was old and the wheelchairs that were at the entrance were pretty basic and rusty.  We breezed through immigration since the “foreign passport” line was short, got our luggage and walked through customs.  We went to the prepaid taxi booth and paid for our ride to the Hyatt. 

An old, little minivan pulled up and we got in.  The driver had a seatbelt but we did not.  We started the ride of our lives.  The street had three lanes in it but it literally had 6 sets of cars and trucks using it.  Our driver, like all of the others, knew precisely the size of his minivan and squeezed us through all sorts of openings.  Filbert’s side of the minivan almost got crunched one time and then Snookums’ almost did, too.  Although it was dark (it was around 9:30 PM), we saw two elephants on the side of the road lumbering somewhere.  Our 30 minute ride was really a lot of fun.

We got to the hotel room and although it is a Hyatt and they did upgrade us to the Regency Club level, it’s not that nice.  However, had we booked our room using the cheapest rate, it still would have cost $383/night.  I’m sure it is opulent for Delhi, though.  The room only had one robe and only one set of slippers and didn’t have a clock in it and after many calls, we finally got everything that we needed.  We were told that the water at the Hyatt is safe to drink but then the man said “To be on the safe side, though, only use bottled water”.    

October 13 (Saturday, Day 12, Delhi) –

Delhi morning


Very light traffic in Delhi


We met Sushil, our driver for the day, and told him the things we wanted to see.  He drove us by the embassies and the home of the Prime Minister but due to high gates with barbed wire on the top, we couldn’t see anything.  We were impressed, though, with the buildings for the Defense Minister and other government offices.  They were huge and had large lawns all around them and they had military and police at the door but no fences or anything.  We walked around India Gate which is a war memorial arch built in honor of 90,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives in World War I. 

India Gate


We arrived at Raj Ghat, the site of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation.  It is set amidst large, well kept, undulating gardens and there were a lot of Indian people there.  We chose to walk on the overlook of it rather than going to the actual cremation place since we didn’t want to take off our shoes. 

Overlooking Raj Ghat


On the way out we saw a large hose that was pumping foaming water on to the grass.  It’s hard to know what was in the water, but based on the pollution that you can see in the air, it can’t be good.

Foamy water


Crow


We drove to Old Delhi and drove through the markets on our way to the Jama Masjid.  We saw lots of live chickens and Sushil told us that you buy the live chicken and then the market guy kills it and plucks it. 

Chickens


We also saw pieces of beef (?) that had hide/skin still on it.  These pieces included legs and hoofs and heads.  We’re not sure what they were used for.  The market was extremely poor and was just a hodgepodge of stuff and the traffic (cars, scooters, and people) was just going every which way.  We decided we didn’t need to actually get out and we didn’t see any foreigners in the market area. Today is the day before Id-ul-Fitr which is the Muslim festival ending the fasting of Ramadan.  As a result, the markets were very busy since the Muslims are buying clothing and food for the festivities.

What the ???


Festival


The trip continues in Part Eleven, here.
Part Nine is here.
Our Round The World Trip home page is here.