Saturday, September 3, 2011

Delhi Round 2

Funny how driving into a city the second time around has a whole new feel. It's more comfortable and welcoming. When I first arrived from the airport that first night, I had some mixed emotions. Though I had read up on the city, and talked to others that had visited, it was a bit scary and overwhelming. It was not like any other city I had ever visited. This second time around it was more familiar and there was a new ease to the city. I was happy to be back.

We began our morning with yoga once again. Shanna, our instructor, chatted with us for a bit at breakfast and provided some more recommendations for the day. We were pretty excited when she asked about having dinner with us that night. She invited us to a members only restaurant that had the same chef as our hotel. Ironically, it was in the same establishment as the American diner we stumbled upon at the habitat center.

The day began in New Delhi, shopping at some stores Shanna recommended. We found some great things. I'm pretty excited about the purchases made. We then had lunch with Vishnu at this cute cafe in the shopping area. The apple beetroot juice was AMAZING! Vishnu suggested going to a Bollywood movie that afternoon, and that sounded like an amazing idea after all our fort and palace tours. When in Rome.

We saw the Bodyguard, which had just come out. Vishnu seemed so excited to go to a movie with us, and we were pretty excited too. Though there weren't any subtitles we were able to figure out the plot line with little confusion. I have to say Bollywood movies are pretty entertaining. I really enjoyed the singing and dancing. Couple of interesting things about going to the movies in India. One, there is intermission. Two, mobiles ring and people answer their phones in the middle of the movie. Three, you enter through metal detectors and purses are searched, sneaking snacks and cameras in are not allowed.

Vishnu dropped us off and we were very sad to say goodbye. We took one last picture with him. It was funny when the photographer started to take the picture, he wasn't quite sure how to work the camera, and had it facing him. We could see his face enlarged in the view-thru. We corrected him, but it would have made a funny/cute picture. Hopefully, Vishnu will keep in touch.

We ended the night enjoying a delicious Pan Asian meal with Shanna at the Oriental Octopus, the members only place. Who would have thought we would end up at a members only place?!? It was really fun to hear about her experience growing up in Kashmir and her recent experience in Delhi. We had a great time, and I discovered a new food that I like - lotus roots.

Our final day was spent with morning yoga and some quick shopping in Old Delhi. Shanna guided us to this fantastic oil shop. I got my jasmine oil! Then we went through kilnari market (the wedding bazaar). Beautiful sparkly saris. Then it was off to the airport for the Maldives!!!

I have to say, India far exceeded my expectations, and we meant some incredible people, who made our trip especially memorable! Hopefully, we will keep in touch!

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