After a two day stay in Agra, we headed back to New Delhi to stay the night before flying back to Sri Lanka. I haven’t mentioned the transportation much yet, but it’s worth mentioning now. In a word, the driver we’d hired: sucked. I am generally pretty easy to please. It would have been nice to have had the driver who picked us up from the airport. He was funny and charming and aimed to please. But we didn’t need funny and charming. But we did pay a lot of money, so aiming to please is something that would have been nice.
Instead, this driver acted like it was such a big chore to drive us everywhere. He did not seem to like our itinerary (and all the driving it entailed). And he seemed resentful every time we asked him to take us someplace once we were at our destination city. And to top it all off, he seemed to be a little sick. He was constantly coughing and sneezing and sniffling. Not a deal breaker, but not pleasant.
Anyways, we were looking forward to arriving in Delhi, dropping our bags off at the hotel, and then going on a walking food tour. We would, of course need our driver to bring us to the hotel and to drop us off/pick us up at our food tour meeting point. Apparently this was just asking way too much. So instead of taking us to our hotel, he took us back to the home of the people who run the tour company. This was way out of our way, and with traffic, ended up taking us a few extra hours.
We were pretty upset that this was happening. The tour operators argued with us. They tried to explain that when they said “24/7”, they didn’t mean all day every day. We tried to explain what the term 24/7 means. It was lost on them. We just wanted to leave, so we just tried to get out of there as quickly as possible.
Things were awkward in the car now. We knew he’d complained about us. We let him know we were angry that he brought us there. And now we’re stuck in traffic, trying to get to our hotel. The driver was sooooooo angry. He had major road rage.
But eventually we made it to the hotel, and the driver begrudgingly took us to our food tour meeting point (and apparently cussed out the tour operator several times on the phone as he navigated the traffic).
Once we were dropped off, things were fine! We had a great food tour with a really friendly guy who really knew his stuff.
Our tour guide brought us to some great street food spots. He also brought us through a spice market:
We ended up on the roof of the spice market:
One of my favorite moments: When I taught some Indian dude what the word clusterf*ck means:
The night we happened to be in Delhi was the night before a big festival. Apparently all the markets and shops would be closed the following day. So people were out shopping. Thats why the streets were so crowded. We had parathas at this wonderful little hole-in-the-wall shop down an alley way. When we tried to leave, this is the scene we saw. So our tour guide told us it wouldn’t be safe to leave just yet, so we just sat down and watched it all go by. I’ve never seen a human traffic jam like this before.
This scene will remain in my memory as NEW DELHI. And I love it.