Ah Delhi, the city of a million sounding horns (car, bike, auto, moto, etc., not a cow horn, they're sacred remember). Yes I'm back in India (this time accompanied by Ms Katherine Greenstock). When I previously visited here, I hated it. Easily the worst country I've been too. But I'm back with a different attitude. Last time my head was full of Salam Rushdie fairy tales and hippy backpackers telling me how fantastic and mystical it is (turns out they'd never left Goa). I thought as soon as I arrived I'd be carried away on Ganesh's back, on a magical journey that would allow me to find my spiritual self. Bollocks. I arrived and got caught in a tout-ring* which took me three days to escape.
But this time is different, I don't have India on top of a pedestal, I have it on top of a stool. And it's worked. Remove the high expectations, put some low ones in there, and the next thing you know I've had a great first day. Complete polar experience. Had a nice guest-house booked, who picked us up from the airport. Quick nap as we arrived at 7am, and we were able to hit the ground running. Ran into a lively parade celebrating the addition of a new deity to their temple. Onto Red Fort, then Jamimusjid Mosque then a delicious dinner at the guest house. Great success!
* Tout-ring is where the taxi diver takes you to his mates hotel. More matter how much you argue, plead, beg for accommodation somewhere else, some how you still end up there. Then when you try and leave the hotel, no matter how much you argue, plead, beg, you end up back in one of their auto-rickshaws. Next is the travel agent. This time they take you to a couple of different ones, each with an over inflated price of the previous. So you go back to the first one for a bargin.