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Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009

Sunday, 1 March, 2009

First off, let me preface this with pictures from my husband’s gallery – he took the awesome ass HQ pics. So here is the link for the shameless photo promos – http://www.pbase.com/cmclaughlan/old_delhi&page=all . The first 2 rows are the new pictures he added from our trip. He has been to the spice market before back in December.

Chandni Chowk is an area of Old Delhi that is mostly known for its sprawling market place and being near the Red Fort, which Colin happens to have pictures of, btw, if you keep poking around on his site. Additionally, there is a bird sanctuary there, too…somewhere. But, as some of you know, I have a hearty dislike of birds. 😉 Chandni Chowk has an entirely different meaning to me than it does to any other person in Delhi…hell, the rest of India for that matter.

I know and now associate Chandni Chowk with my breasts. How so? Well, how many times can a girl be felt up in the course of one day? I lost count after 5. I’m not kidding. I slapped away at least 2 hands — of course, some can say that because it was so crowded, I was merely jostled around and was being overly sensitive. I know I wasn’t. I know jostled, I lived in Paris…being jostled about on a crowded metro? Jostled. I was molested in Delhi. I did have, at one point, a hand flat out on my breast that squeezed me…and it trailed away, down the side and then left off. The other somewhat subtle one that was memorable was when I debated on taking a picture as Colin was focused on the chilis in one of the pics…and a man brushed past me, but made sure his elbow got to rub across both breasts. However, for the most part, it was usually hands that touched my poor girls.

Was it a mistake? No. Forgetting to buy milk at the grocery store is a mistake. Making an error on a test is a mistake. Putting conditioner on your hair before your shampoo is a mistake.

The crap that happened to me was NOT a mistake. Anyway, I had to rant about that because in the end, I felt utterly violated.

Now that that is over…

We roamed around Chandni Chowk and I got to eat street food! I know what I ate, but I can’t remember the name…I just know it’s some delicate deep fried dough that has some wonderful simple sugar-eque water injected into it before it is is deep fried. If you’re not careful, the sugar water busts out and is very hot, but if you wait a few, it’s like…heaven. While I ate and walked (and now I know why Indians stop and eat, even if they are eating standing up – you can’t really walk and eat because you will always get crashed into), I also got to look around at some jewelry shops. I actually purchased a ring and earrings, all for the bank breaking price of $25. The ring is ginormous and the earrings are awesome. I’ll have colin take pics of them. Now some people from the US don’t get it, but jewelry is sold by weight here. Hell, most everything is sold by weight here. Anyway, I wandered around, happy tummy and window shopping. Before I knew it, 2 hours had passed…but while roaming, we came across a very busy paratha (a bread) place. The street was so narrow, yet somehow, people on motorcycles and scooters still managed to go through! The line to the paratha shop/vendor was long and it curved around a corner, going past was nearly impossible. Colin stopped to take pics of a man making bread while I finished off my sugary sweet goodness…come to find out, we were standing in front of a very historical paratha maker — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranthe_wali_Gali . Maybe I should’ve had some, but the man sitting on the table/bench had his bare foot near the bread…I had issues with that, so declined. Plus, the line was getting longer and I wasn’t up for the wait. If you’ve ever waited in line in any other country aside from the US, Canada and the UK, then you will know it’s *not* a pleasant experience – people will try to push and shove past you. Once a month, I sometimes have anger management issues and I don’t want to smack back the person trying to get in front of me.

After we were done with Chandni Chowk, we made our way to the Spice Market…

The spice market, in a word, rocked. The smells…oh, how I was in absolute heaven! We had spices shoved in our faces, vendors desperate for us to buy something…fresh tea leaves to purchase oh my! I was so utterly overwhelmed by the entire day. Oh…and how did we make our way from Chandni Chowk to the spice market? It was actually a short walk, but initially we rode there — in a rickshaw…yes, a little 3 wheelie thing…and damn, we were only supposed to pay him 50 rupees, but the poor man had to tote us along and I ended up giving him 100 rupees. While the picture below isn’t the exact one we rode, it was still a 3 wheeled thing that held colin and myself. I was clinging on for dear life and at one point and time I think I actually said a Hail Mary or three.

And again, click to embiggen!

Photobucket

I wandered around, absolutely entranced and completely overwhelmed. We got to one part of the Spice Market and just decided to roam and wing it…and am I ever so glad we did. I would’ve missed so many things that went on in the side streets away from the main road. It’s almost like how you see it in movies – massively bad caucophony outside, but you suddenly duck down an alleyway and it’s like a lovely beacon of silence drawing you in…until you nearly get mowed down by the people on motorcycles and mopeds. Haha.

We walked back to where the driver had originally dropped us off at – The Red Gate. I felt like the walk was nothing and hubby told me walked a good distance, about 4 or more miles. We called and waited for the driver…then we went for…Mexican Food at a place called Sancho’s. It was all right and it put my Mexican food craving to rest, but ya know…I really want a chimichanga from Rosa’s.

Anyway, that’s it for now.

Make sure to stop and look at Colin’s pics, they rock!

I’d write more, but I’m a little pooped and it’s time for bed.

-Carina-

I miss home
India, how have you spoiled me?

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