(Never thought I would miss my winter coat in India)
Sunday 14 October 2012 - Saturday 20 October 2012 30 °C
DELUXE BUS? Far from it. A continent away, I would even say.
It took us 1.5 hrs just to get out of Jaipur. Then the highway we were on was punctuated, nearly every kilometer, with a new diversion of some kind. The air conditioning was so cold, everybody was shivering in the bus. The driver was driving like a mad man in such a reckless and abrupt way, 2 girls got sick on the bus. I thought I would die at least twice during the 8-ish hours ride.
Sou did a great job finding our Delhi hotel, the Rak International, recommended by Lonely Planet.
We each have a DOUBLE BED. And TWO PILLOWS. And we have hot water for our showers - which we haven't had since we left Mumbai on October 3rd – we just have to call reception 15-20 minutes in advance to get it.
I got a cold doubled with a sinus infection from the winter cold so-called deluxe bus. Kept me in bed in Delhi for the next 4 days. Nice. Could barely go out for dinner every night, once the sun was down. I'm a New Delhi vampire. And with all the exhaust fumes (mufflers aren't as environment-friendly here as in Canada), trust me, I'm feeling like... you know what.
I got better rather quickly, thanks to Sou who was leaving the room all afternoon for 3 days to let me sleep and to scout for restaurants and places to shop for when I would get better. After 2 days, I went the tough way... I went to the chemist (pharmacy) store. I told the guy my symptoms. He gave me 3 pills, made in Kashmir; 1 pill every night with dinner for 3 days.
And it worked! This is serious stuff... so serious that I had the same medication in my luggage! (A lower dose, but still.) A cured cold for a mere... 70 rupees (1,50 $). Try to get that at Jean Coutu... especially without a prescription!
After getting better, I did my fair share of shopping – prices are pretty reasonable here on Main Bazaar Road, in the Pahar Gang part of New Delhi. Not much negotiating to do. Still a bit. Just to be a sport, you know. From fancy teas to colorful pashminas, from necklaces and prayer beads to tiny replicas of Hindu gods, we found a lot of nice things... So much that we already shipped a box of gifts to Canada! We planned on doing it much later during our trip, but for 2800 rupees (approx. 50 $; 25 $ each), we sent 7 kg worth of gifts back home... Which means less things to carry in our backpacks.