This Christmas I took my wanderlusty self to India. I have to admit that although India had been on my bucket list, I had erased it for awhile because there was so many rapes in the last little while that I was scared to go. Nevertheless, many of my UAE friends went during eid and that settled my fears. Kaitlin (my travel bestie) and I decided that we would buy a Groupon tour and explore the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) for five days and then we would spend the rest if our time in the relaxing Goa.
We arrived in Delhi and we were taken to our first hotel. The streets were littered with stray dogs and individuals begging for money. Whenever our car stopped at a stop light, someone would knock on our window either selling something (Santa hats seemed to be a favorite) or asking for money.
I was extremely impressed with out first hotel Hotel Vikram, it was clean and the room had more than enough room. Since we had been travelling all night from Dubai, we decided to just chill in the room and relax. We did order some yummy indian food.
The next morning our guide Sunil took us to the largest mosque in India.
After the mosque, we took a rickshaw ride through the streets of old Delhi, since it was still early in the morning, shopkeepers were just starting to set up for the day.
The rickshaw ride was insane, we passed people selling everything from fruits and veggies to saris. Cows were walking up and down the streets and stray dogs watched the world go by. The drivers in Delhi make the UAE drivers look like saints.
We then took a drive to visit the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Ghandi. His ashes were spread in the Ganges river but there is an eternal flame that burns day and night in dedication to him. Since this is such a popular place there were many kids on field trips with their school. Many of them screamed HELLO and looked at us in awe.
We got many stares as we walked the streets and I was a bit surprised, since I am almost the same skin color as most Indians, yet our tour guide told us that many people who are on vacation at this time have never left their villages ( or rarely do) and many of them have never seen a foreigner, yet alone a black person.
We then proceeded to the presidental area and saw the Indian gate.
I was shocked at the number of hawkers that were trying to sell items here. We were told by our your guide to just ignore them, because even saying no is acknowledging their presence. This was so strange to me, I always fell so rude just ignoring them and I often slipped up and said, 'no thank you.'