Adventures at home, abroad, and online

Delhi Arrival

After spending a whole day enjoying Amman’s lovely airport, I arrived in Delhi at 5am local time. James was good enough to meet me, and his larger than life presence in the arrival hall was a reassuring sign. He had stayed up all night working in preparation for my arrival (dressing the elephants, and so forth). So logically, we spent the early morning wandering around the Safdejang enclave where he lives. It’s a little outside the main urban center of Delhi, but still within the metropolitan area.

The city is as mad as it has been described, with autorickshaws, motorbikes, Ambassador cabs, cows and pedestrians all jostling for space on the road. James reminded me of the effective rules for right of way, with cows at the top and pedestrians firmly on the bottom rung. One has to remember to look left, as traffic nominally flows the opposite direction. But in reality one must be aware at all times, as there is the constant danger of being run down, or at the very least stepping in shit.

After a brief nap, we ventured out to do the touristy things that James had yet to do. We went to India Gate, a memorial to the 70,000 WWI dead, and a seeming replica of the Arc de Triomph. We walked along the national mall to the Presidential palace, where we were denied entry by the very friendly security guards. Then we took the ultramodern subway to the Red Fort, which was built by Shah Jahan, the same Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal. Looking at these monuments, it’s easy to see how he bankrupted the empire with his extravagance.

James at India Gate
Throne room
Red Fort

Looking at a map, and discussing options with James’ tour guide roommate, we’ve tentatively decided to go to Agra to see the Taj this weekend, and then take next week to go up to the mountains to Dharamsala. Not a bad end to an extraordinary trip.




Qutb Minar


  1. josh,

    so great to hear from you in India. Please say a silent “namaste” for me in Dharamsala, and have a great hike.

    James, great photo of you at the India gate. You look (almost) as impressive as the gate itself!


  2. Jan

    Final country, final leg of a great trip. It will be interesting to hear if your list of “places to see before I die” has gotten smaller from all the places you have been or only expanded as you have know heard of even more places that you must experience.

    Delhi’s traffic sounds even more chaotic than the traffic in Beijing. I don’t remember cows entering into the equation there. Good luck with that.

    When you have a chance, send an email with your return flight itinerary so we can track which countries and which flights/dates you are hoping to use for your return.

    Send my best to James. This upcoming hike in the Indian mountains is quite an extension from those early hikes in the Green Mountains. Too bad Jared is missing this leg of the trip – guess he is the only one with a job at this point.

  3. Jared

    alas, employment has me stranded in the west bank, where the news keeps churning. wish i could be with
    you guys now. but look – i’m coming to delhi sept 18, then the states on the 30th. watch out.

  4. Ruth

    August 30? Damn. I leave Boston on the 28th. Jared, it would have been really cool to finally meet you. Next time.

  5. jared

    no, september 30th, actually. (although this plan is now in question) it’ll be awesome to meet you too some time, inshallah.

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