Hmm, that was well done… never made it to the Red Fort – apparently it was closed, but then I also had a little trouble working out wha tin the hell the guy was trying to tell me about getting a cab out there. In the absence of any other good plan I elected to wander aimlessly around the environs, hopefully finding a place to chow down.
“It's pretty bizarre round here”, he said with hopes of sounding like Hemingway but falling disgracefully short of the mark. You'd almost be forgiven for thinking all the buildings were falling down, except that there's loads of brand new ones in between all the collapsed ones.
Across the road from the hotel was the most amazing bit of electrical wiring I've ever seen, and I'll never look unfavourably on the spaghetti mess behind my desk again.
I had a go at trying to work out the street numbering system, to no avail, but luckily the layout's a grid and therefore even I found it difficult getting too lost.
It's times like this I really wish I could speak Hindi, because I'd ask the vast crowds of people by the side of the roads what they're doing there. There's just always… well yeah, big throngs of people standing by the side of the road watching cars go by, like some kind of consultative traffic committee. There's also all kinds of endeavours going on at roadside, like women doing washing, and blokes ironing (using what look to be coal-powered irons).
Traffic's amazing – it's like an amazing symphony of movement & noise, and watching it is almost a spiritual experience. It's uncannily reminiscent of the area around Victoria Station in the morning, only without the oppressiveness of road rules (other than the basic precept that it's a good idea not to hit anyone else).
There seemed to be a fairly random spread of businesses dotted in amongst the crumbling brickwork of the area (known as East Patel Nagar) – the odd supermarket, tailors, ice cream shops, lots of property offices, and here or there a restaurant. In the couple of dozen blocks I also saw a fairly thorough mix of medical specialists.
And there were cows ! Bulls, judging by the swing of things – kinda lying about at the side of the road chewing on something. One of them got up & went for a walk, seemingly unperturbed by the buzzing and honking going on around him.
Erk, time to go. Cab's going to be here any second, then the 8 hour bus ride to Shimla. So yeah, that's that.