Dee In A Nutshell

Feed Me, Love Me, Never Leave Me.


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Back in Kampala

So I’m back home. I got in on Friday although I left Delhi on Thursday night. For my last day in Delhi, all I did was buy some kohl for my eyes and watch The Final Destination. As with their roads, their cinemas are also a sight better than ours.

I will post the few pictures I used my phone to take as soon as I get back to work and to seacom-speed internet.

Ciao

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Incredible India – Last days in Delhi

Tuesday

So I didn’t do anything during the day on Tuesday but at night I went to the Hard Rock Cafe in New Delhi and had the time of my life. The music was on point, the margheritas were awesome and the food was to die for. I got myself a souvenir Hard Rock Couture tee that I am in love with.

Wednesday

I had a fun day today. I had the most thorough mani-pedi I have ever had. These men were not joking about their work, my feet have never felt so clean. However, that was not the funnes thing that happened to me.

In the rickshaw on the way home, we stopped at the lights, and this little boy looking like he was right out of Slumdog Millionaire run up to us with a bunch of books. Now I have been looking for used books especially those by Indian authors that are hard to come by in Uganda because I really love Indian fiction and one of the books he had was ‘The White Tiger’ by Aravind Adiga which one the coveted Booker Prize last year. I promptly bought a copy for 100 rupees although that price was bargained down from 395 rupees (almost no price here is fixed). So I start the book, because I have been so looking forward to reading and haven’t been able to find it in Kampala, and I find this;

“See, when you come to Bangalore, and stop at a traffic light, some boy will run up to your car and knock on your window, while holding up a bootlegged copy of an American book, wrapped carefully in Cellophane…”

I just could not stop laughing and if I could meet the author, I would want him to sign this bootlegged copy of his book.


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Incredible India – Still in Delhi

Thursday

It started raining pretty much all day so I didn’t get out of the house at all. I did get my first taste of night life in Delhi though. We went to a mall in an area called Saket where there’s a bar that has an all you can drink bar for only 800 rupees, that is like 16 dollars. Sadly we found it had a private party so we couldn’t have the practically all  you can drink bar. Instead, we went upstairs to The Love Hotel where there was a reaggae night. You guys have no idea how shocked I was to find reaggae night in India but it was so much fun. I danced the whole night, I could not sit down. The music was just off the hook.

Nothing much happened on Friday.

Saturday

We woke up at 5.00am because the pick up to go to the Taj Mahal is at 6.00am. The tour company sends you a bus and a tour guide. We must have drawn the short straw because the van we got was just a piece of junk. I think I have said enough how nice the roads are but the van managed to shake and bounce the whole way to Agra which is where the Taj is. I swear, my breasts sagged by about 2 inches from all the bouncing, I was actually in pain. The ride which should take about 3 hours took 6 hours.

We go to Agra at midday and the first thing we saw was the Agra Fort. Built much like the Red Fort in Delhi, I already talked about, the main difference is there is alot of marble incorporated into the build of this one. The Agra Fort looks out onto the Taj and it is here that the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was put under house arrest after its completion. The west wing of the fort is used by the military and is therefore off limits to the public. I took pictures on my phone but since I have no way of getting them from there to this laptop, I will post them when I get back to Kampala.

By the time we were done seeing the Fort it was lunch time. We had lunch at a place called Gaylord’s restaurant. The name cracked me up no end through out the day. Seriously, Gaylord?

After lunch, we went to see the Taj Mahal. The area around the Taj is pollution free so all the cars have to stop a half kilometre from the gate and then either a camel taxi, a bicycle taxi or a battery operated bus gets you to the gate. I honestly do not have the words to describe the sheer magnificence, the utter awesomeness of this place. Pictures don’t even do it justice. This is a place you have to see yourself to believe that it even exists. It is so opulent and indulgent, the whole dome is covered in marble. The detail is so striking. If you do anything before you die, see this place.

After seeing the Taj, there wasn’t really anything else they could show me that could awe me but they tried. We went to see the birth place of Krishna. Nothing much to report really.

Sunday

We went to church in an area called Green Park and I realised how much I missed it, the praise and worship especially. After church we went to a shopping mall I hadn’t been to yet called Priya in an close to where we live called Vasant Vihar and I had amazing waffles at this cafe called Chocolat.

Monday

All I did today was visit this mall next to where we live that is actually two malls. One is called DLF Promenade with ordinary stores with ordinary stuff on 3 floors. It also has a food court and cinemas. The second mall is called DLF Emporio and it is dedicated to designer stores. Any famous expensive designer brand you can think of has a store in this mall. I’m talking Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, DKNY, Jimmy Choo, Feragammo, Marc Jacobs, I could go on but I don’t remember them all.

Tomorrow, I plan to get a pedi-mani and a massage. I’ll blog more when something interesting happens to me.


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Incredible India – Delhi

Wednesday

 

So today I went on the tour of Delhi. Delhi is such a huge place that the tour takes the entire day something I can’t imagine the trip of around Kampala doing.

 

Let’s see, what did I learn?

  • There are two parts of Delhi, Old Delhi and New Delhi. New Delhi, which is the part where I live, was built by the British.
  • Delhi has a subway. This is the fact I was the most surprised to learn, no one had mentioned it and yet I felt it was such a big deal.
  • New Delhi is the more organized, the more urbane, the prettier of the two. There is this really pretty road called Shanti Path that is lined with different diplomatic missions and looks like it leads directly to the President’s house.
  • We saw a beautiful mosque called Jama Mosque which was constructed during the Mughal Empire period and is one of the most beautiful things I have seen. It always amazes me the level of workmanship these early masons possessed without the tools we think we can’t live without in this day and age. Because not everyone who went to the mosque had a Quran, the Suras printed on the wall that the worshippers face. Apparently, the role of Imam and care taker of the mosque has been passed down from generation to generation within the same family. It has 3 gates, and the most interesting one is the one that comes in off the Red Fort.
  • The Red Fort was built as just that, a fort. It also has supreme workmanship and well, there’s really nothing much to say about it.
  • There’s a cottage industry where the Indian government encourages the Kashmiri artisans to sell their wares. We went to this specialty Kashmiri store where the sales man could have sold carpets to himself if he stopped to listen to what he was saying. He showed us how they make the carpets. It takes one person 3 months to make one carpet out of Kashmiri wool and they are also those made out of Kashmiri silk that are painfully beautiful. Painfully because I could not afford to buy some of the, honestly, most beautiful works of art I have ever seen. We were taken to another slight cheaper place where the fabric was also hand stitched, patched and woven. At least I was able to buy some pretty fabric and cushion covers for a friend who sent me for some. I really hope you like them.
  • We were also shown the India Gate which is a war memorial from the First World War and the stones that build the gate are inscribed with the soldiers’ names that died during the war.
  • The Qutab Minar is the last place we were shown and this was built by the first Muslim ruler India ever had. I don’t remember his name, unfortunately and I’m too lazy to google it. The minaret is attached to a mosque that the leader built from demolished Hindu temples of worship. It is really tall with 25 tiers (or floors, not too sure) and before, tourists were allowed to climb up to the top until people started using it to commit suicide.
  • I also learnt that things that aren’t ancient don’t make into the tour. On our way, I saw us pass the New Delhi Museum of Modern Art and my guide didn’t even bat an eyelid and I got home and found out Delhi had a zoo that we had also not visited. I am planning to find someone who can take me around all these interesting places that failed to make it on to the itinerary of the tour.

 

Ok, I think my history lesson is over. Tomorrow, I will be going back to Sarunjin Naga and Priya for some shopping I didn’t do and I’ll go to Agra to see the Taj Mahal on Friday instead.

 

Ciao


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Incredible India – Delhi

Monday

So today I ventured out into Delhi for the first time and it was quite the experience. We went to a market called Saranjin Naga that is about 40 minutes away from where we live and we took a cab. Now because Delhi is so hot, one has to be careful to get a taxi with AC and we got one. On the way to the market, I noticed this place has really nice roads and they look like they were made by laying down strips of tarmac carpet and they are much larger than the ones in Uganda as well.

The market was so full of different smells which aren’t necessarily bad but your nose gets confused. It is also very colourful, the fabrics, the clothes, the shopfronts, everything is so colourful. I only got 3 dresses and one of those handbags you sling over your shoulders (I’ve always wanted to get one of those) but the people I was with got a bunch of stuff.

On the way back from the market we passed through what I guess is the administrative district of Delhi. We saw the parliament, the State House, the Department of Defense offices and a bunch of really swanky hotels. We also saw the India Gate. I am going on a tour of Delhi tomorrow so I’ll have more to say about the different places in Delhi. I have noticed though that right next to these really posh looking places are ramshackled shacks of shops that look like they have just been randomly thrown together with no sense of symmetry whatsoever, it is really disconcerting for someone like me with slight OCD for straightening things.

We got back home eventually and prepared for the next day.

Tuesday

Today we got up early and went to a place called Ramesh Park: Export Market. This market is more organised than the one we went to yesterday and it is more of wholesale market. The pieces are in many different colours and sizes and many people who go there buy in bulk. I got so many clothes that I’m practically broke 3 days into my trip.

Today I also travelled in an auto rickshaw for the first time for about 40km. Rickshaws are nothing like bodas. For one thing they use gas cylinders not fuel. Can you believe that? The gas you use to cook is what they use to run on. They are really very slow, so if you’re in a hurry, you’d rather take a cab or even the bus. Another thing, is in the rickshaw is where the smells of India really hit you. Unlike previously when I’ve been in ACed cars and homes, the rickshaw shows you true Delhi. I don’t know if black people are rare these ways but we got alot of stares.

Tomorrow I go on the tour of Delhi and on Thursday, I go to Agra which is about 3 hours away, to visit the Taj Mahal.


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Incredible India

It is 10.19am and I have been in India for about 2 hours and in this time all I have seen of India is the road from the airport to where I am staying.

 

Observations

  • On the descent to the airport, the parts of India I could see looked like they had been built out of legos. There was not a curved edge to be seen on the horizon.
  • This place is very humid (I’m in Delhi). As soon as I walked out of the airport, my hands got clammy and I generally don’t get clammy hands, ever!
  • I love the look of rickshaws, can’t wait to ride on one.

 

I really wish that I was here with Carlo though. I miss you dear friend.

 

Ciao


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In Transit

I am writing this sitting in the airport transit area of Addis Ababa airport in Ethiopia (just in case your world geography sucks). I am en route to India when I plan to spend a very fulfilling two weeks of holiday.

 

See, I’m on leave and I decided to treat myself this time round. I have always wanted to visit India and now that my best friends’ mother lives there, I can tie on her for a place to live for free while I tour to my heart’s delight.

 

It might shock you to learn that today was the first time I have ever been on a plane. Ever! I felt it was very much like a bus down to the bumps in the road. I keep thinking I should have been more frightened than I was but I wasn’t.

 

The thing I am already beginning to regret the most is forgetting my camera. First of all, my camera died. Yeah, I killed my precious camera and I was planning to get it fixed in India but I forgot to carry. Unfortunately, even though I had carried it, I would not have been able to photograph possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. The sun set while we were in the air and a sun set above the clouds looks nothing like the one seen from the ground. I felt like I was in a painting. It was so beautiful.

 

I’m in an internet café and so my time is running out. I will blog more when I get where I’m going.

 

Ciao.