Saturday, May 19

Our journey to India started with a 4:30 am flight from Dubai to New Delhi.  The Dubai airport’s extravagance contrasted greatly with the small and highly guarded Delhi airport.  As we walked to our bus we encountered many stray dogs and unfamiliar smells, just two of the many differences we would notice in India.  Our guides gave us lays as we boarded the bus, which was taking us to the Hans Hotel in New Delhi.  At the hotel we were given mango juice while we waited to be checked in.  Exhausted from our 2 a.m. wake up we rested for a few hours in preparation for our guided tour in the afternoon.

The guide, Jvsir, picked us up from the hotel for the bus/walking tour.  First, he took us to the old part of Delhi which was extremely chaotic and full of poverty.  Cars, buses, taxis, and bikes didn’t take notice of the lanes whatsoever, and drove on both sides of the road coming from both directions.  As a result, there is the constant sound of beeping, used more as a way to tell people you are there as opposed to expressing that someone did something wrong.  It was interesting to see how many people were just hanging out on the side of the road.  Many looked like they were homeless, but only a handful were begging for money.  We were sad to hear that 25 percent of the people in Delhi are living below the poverty line.  The biggest surprise by far was the fact that many Indian people are fascinated with white skinned foreigners.  Everywhere we went we were a spectacle.  Everyone we passed would stop what they were doing, stare and often times take a picture.  The more bold would come up to us and ask if they could take a picture with us. 

Our first stop on the tour was at the largest mosque in India, the Jama Masjid.  Upon entering the women of the group were asked to put on make-shift saris, similar to the traditional clothing that Indian women would wear.  The guide explained that about 15-18 percent of the India is Muslim, while about 65 percent is Hindu.  Next, we passed the place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated, a gated park known by the Indian people as Rajghat.  Unfortunately the gates were locked, so the guide took a few minutes to explain how Gandhi was integral in the democratic transition for India.  Gandhi was assassinated at the age of 79, however he was alive to see India gain their freedom.  We then passed the home of the President, Vice-President, and Parliament.  We were interested to hear that following the September 11th attacks no planes were allowed to fly over this area for fear of Pakistani action.  To experience some of the local food we stopped at a restaurant named Suribachi.  The favorite meal of the group was the Chicken Tikka Masala, a traditional Indian dish consisting of chicken in a tomato and yogurt based sauce with a variety of spices mixed in.   After lunch we went to see the tallest minaret in India called the Qutub Minar, which was made of sandstone and marble at about 73 meters high.  To conclude our tour we ended at a government subsidized shop that sells rugs, scarves, saris, and jewelry of top quality.   Our guide then escorted us back to the hotel, where we wrapped up the day with dinner at the in-house restaurant.

Monday, May 21

We made our last day count in New Delhi by visiting two different agencies, Genesis Burson-Marsteller and Penn Shoen Berland.

At Genesis Burson-Marsteller we listened to a presentation by the President Nikhel

~Meg Durcan


 


Comments

07/28/2012 12:13am

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