Kyla and Nick Around the World travel blog

Auto-rickshaws are everywhere in Delhi, and they would like to get their...

The entrance to Humayun's Tomb. Not the Taj Mahal in Agra, though...

Reflecting pool at Humayun's Tomb

Tomb-dog taking advantage of the waterways that crisscross the grounds. If it...

The man himself, Humayun.

Looking back on the entrance of the tomb complex. It was huge...

One of the many sub-tombs in the complex. This one did not...

He looks harmless now, but this man wants to RIP YOU OFF!

The India Gate. Travel in twos, and watch each other's back here...

Indian Idol! They were filming at the India Gate. I only hope...


So we have arrived and we've doing it - surviving Delhi. The weather, it has been in the 40's, isn't killing us as much as we thought. Everything else? Well... lets just say the cliches about India are so true!

Lucky for me, because I am female, I am pretty much ignored in any situation so I don't have to tell the touts, the ricksaw drivers, the random people offering drugs etc etc - "NO!" Now as for Nick... he's doing ok actually. "Mister, Mister" they all say. Even when entering restaruants there is only ever one menu presented and it is handed directly to Nick. Nick is then expected to order for both of us. We knew this would be the case though and thinking it through have spent more time in countries where the gender roles are very distinct, than in western nations that have thankfully blurred the lines with time. I will say I will be quite happy to arrive in Israel where I can walk BESIDE or perhaps even in front of my husband from time to time. Heck we may even be able to hold hands in public!

We've been here just 2 days and already have experienced so many funny encounters, scary encounters, heartbreaking encounter, beautiful encounters...

And the diversity and contrasts is like something we have not seen before. Yesterday after visiting India's largest Mosque we took in a local route to the city's biggest market area. We wove through tiny, tiny alleys which were incredibly dark. I soon became aware that I was by far the only women in the area and was thankful that I had taken Lily's advice to "cover it all up". I became more and more uncomfortable the deeper we walked into the labyrinth - so many stray dogs hiding under motorcycles (watch out for those tails), so much crap on the pathways, so many strange puddles, so much garbage, so many men looking at me, one too many rows of open urinals that stank to the heavens (basically three sided cubicles with just holes in the ground - I swear I could see everything had I wished to) and then a scurrying rat that would just not leave us alone. India had become too much for this adventerous traveller! I wanted out of the dark and into the daylight where I hoped there would be more women. I voiced this to Nick. We turned a corner and then... out of nowhere the most beatifully decorated row of homes. Cheery coloured paint on houses and overflowing flower pots greeted us. Locals beckoned us to step onto their alleyway. And wow what a surge of emotion - from fear and frusteration to a sense of welcome and beauty. I had to chuckle to myself and grin widely. How often had I read about just this very type of thing in India? The contrasts that you struggle to understand! How can it be?

We continued down the path and came upon a Jain Temple. Curious as to whether or not we would be allowed in we pondered at the bottom of the steps and snuck a peak in. Again we were welcomed in. After removing our shoes (and Nick removing his leather belt) we took the stairs up to another world... A man instantly showed us around , explaining the beliefs and the symbolisms of the various paintings, scultpures, glass mosaics, and offerings. We were each given a sandlewood tikkaon our forehead, blessed and wished safe travels, and were then sent along our way.

And that is SO India!

We've vowed to come back again and to give this country the more time that it deserves. Until then we will have so many encounters to laugh off, as well as those that really warmed our hearts!



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