So we went back to India again. Thus time we flew to Delhi – not Calcutta as we’ve been doing – and then wandered around Rajasthan for a week before coming back to Delhi and flying back to Bangkok where everyone is wearing black and being mournful.
We went to Delhi eight years ago but that was an odd trip and for one reason and another we didn’t actually see much of the city, mostly because I was having a fine time being mildly sick in a house with a lot of servants. Also I got a haircut. Delhi is kind of like D.C. if D.C. were ten times as large which means that you are constantly taking cars down long avenues to get anywhere. I am not sure we managed to see much more of Delhi this time (we have still failed to go to the Red Fort and the Gandhi museums, and I did not get a haircut) though certain things looked familiar and we felt like we could pick and choose what we wanted to do. I think I would say that Delhi seems pleasant enough but Bombay is more exciting and Calcutta is more interesting? Though maybe Delhi is less complicated to get around than either of those places.
But let me see what we did before I forget entirely. We got into Delhi very late Friday night and left extremely early Sunday morning, so we had one day there. In the evening was the Canadian Ball, which I don’t know anything about. In the morning, we went to see the Delhi Jantar Mantar. The Jantar Mantars are observatories built in the eighteenth century by Jai Singh to calculate important dates; there’s one in Delhi, a bigger one in Jaipur, and a couple others elsewhere in India that we didn’t see. They are full of immense curved structures with steps. A guide could probably explain what exactly each thing did, but they’re nice to ignorantly wander around:
There’s a very nice book about these (and also the lifecycle of eels) by Julio Cortázar if you are interested. After that, we went to the Agrasen ki Baoli, an old step well that is now inhabited by bats:
This is looking up from inside:
There are a lot of bats:
We had lunch, which was delicious, and I don’t remember what else we did. There was the Canadian ball. Then we went off to Jaipur the next morning, but I am going to post this now because otherwise it will take me eight years to post everything.