Tag Archives: delhi

Backpacking India: New Delhi

India - Delhi
New Delhi is the capital of India and home to some 13 million people, and our last stop on our journey through India. We flew home on April 15 from the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Much like in India’s other big cities (Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Chennai), we enjoyed the top-notch restaurants, fusion of people, large market areas, and efficient public transportation systems. Delhi seemed to take these to the next level, with the dozens of bazaar areas for shopping and the most modern and extensive Metro system in India. We relied heavily on the Metro to get us around. Delhi is a really sprawling city and the attractions are spread throughout the city, and the traffic is horrible.

India - Dan in Delhi Leela
Our highlights from Delhi include accompanying Dan on his first authentic Indian dining experiences and Bollywood movie, exploring the winding lanes of Old Delhi and the spice market, visiting the ruins of Qutab Minar, and going to Akshardham – which I can only describe as a Hindu temple and Disneyland combined together, complete with a Small World-esque boat ride and a reenactment of the life of a Hindu saint featuring animatronic robots. Needless to say, Akshardham was bizarre but amazing. We also crammed 4 months of souvenir shopping into our last few days, visiting many of the the markets around the city and picking up clothing, spices, and tiffin containers.

India - Dan in Delhi

There is a constant smoggy haze over the city, which makes it difficult to appreciate the impressive buildings, especially around the Rajpath, which connects the President’s official residence to the India Gate. It was no surprise to us, that Delhi is ranked as one of the most polluted cities in the world.

Our first few days in Delhi didn’t go well. We were staying in the touristy Paharganj neighbourhood, where pickpockets and touts prey on tourists. Emily had her sunglasses lifted and I had my cellphone pick-pocketed. Those experiences clouded our experience of Delhi a little bit, but we still enjoyed the city. Maybe not as much as Mumbai or Kolkata, but it was a good place to end our trip.

India - Delhi

Backpacking India: Fucking Delhi Pickpockets

Delhi police

The good news first – Daniel Georges has safely arrived in India to accompany us for the last two weeks of our trip. The bad news – he spent most of his first morning in the police station. But it wasn’t his fault.

I had my cellphone pick pocketed after breakfast this morning. I was crossing the street when a group of young men bumped into me pretty hard. I didn’t think much of the incident until a minute later I noticed my phone was gone. Luckily my wallet was in a zippered pocket. The guys were long gone by the time I noticed, and I’m not sure I’d recognize them anyway. I was busy talking to Emily and Dan and trying not to get hit by cars when they bumped into me. We rushed back to the hotel to try and locate the phone and disable it, but by then battery had been removed. These guys were likely pros.

I should have been more careful. We’ve been in India for 3 months without any problems, but last night Emily had her sunglasses stolen from her bag. Delhi, it appears, is teeming with thieves. It’s a shame, because I was starting to like the city.

Filing a police report was an interesting experience. Like most encounters with Indian bureaucracy, it involved a lot of paperwork and waiting. But I was surprised when a police officer said “first we examine crime scene and then we take action. Come”. And we hopped into the back of a police truck for a drive by the intersection. I’m not sure what they learned from that, but it was more than I expected.

I’ve come to rely on my phone a lot, especially the data connection. It sucks to lose it after recently going through a lot of effort to get a new sim card. With only two weeks left, it’s not worth replacing it. We’ll just have to travel the old fashioned way, relying on planning, a notebook, and wifi hotspots (for Emily’s iPad). There is a decent chance the police might recover the phone now that I’ve reported it stolen and given them the IME Number, if this article is to be believed, but I’m not going to get my hopes up.