2006-10-06 : First impressions of India
Heathrow really takes all the fun out of flying, doesn't it ? Never mind… I'm now here to tell you about my hotel room in Delhi, because I haven't organised to go outside yet (although that's immediately next on the agenda after posting this).
Truthfully I've only really spent any time in my hotel room, but it's not a bad microcosm based on what I've seen so far.
The bed seems to be made out of slices of the bread that they use to make airpot sandwiches out of – firm and unyielding.
There's no shower in here, just a bucket & jug system comprising 2 taps – one delivering water at about 2 degrees, and one at about 8 degrees. Whilst pouring water over myself in a mock-luxuriant way Imade sure to keep my lips as tightly pursed as a duck's sphincter, lest any of the world famous Delhi Tap Water enter my system. That was a couple of hours ago, and no ill effects yet, so I think I got away with it.
Continuing on a plumbing theme, the hand taps are configured so one does nothing, and the other delivers a third temperature (about 5 degrees, I'd reckon), so it must be coming from a different source to those in the shower alcove. Interestingly, this third tap is unique in that it seems to also deliver small metal flakes – I can't work out if this is because under all the shabby exterior this hotel's really so luxuriant it makes its guests wash their hands in gold, or perhaps the guys from the traning place have booked me into the Priscilla Suite, or then again it may just be the plumbing collapsing in on itself and me seeing the evidence. In any case it's somewhat concerning as I've now got what appear to be trace elements of glitter about my person. I hope I don't see anyone I know. The bathroom is equipped with possibly the finest extractor fan I have ever seen, which seems a pity as none of the water sources in there seem able to produce steam.
Finally on bogs, it appears that bogroll is rationed into 11 metre rolls, rather than the great free-for-all collections we get. I suspect this is for obvious reasons.
Anyway, as hinted, it's time for me to go outside. I kinda like the idea of catching a cab over to The Red Fort to see what that's all about (my curiosity having been tweaked at the age of about 11 by a postcard from Alex Brooks). Driving, as ever in a crowded country, seems entertaining enough – road markings are totally ornamental, and it seems that Indian cars navigate by sonar, as they've always got their horns blasting in an attempt to advertise their presence to those around them. Well come on, it's accessible – it means the blind get to drive too.