So, I bought a bike today. It's an Atlas Super Strong, and it cost me $50USD. When I return it Friday, I will get back $43USD. Pretty good deal, right?
I used the bike to get lost all over New Delhi today. I kept getting yelled at by police for going where I wasn't supposed to go. There were many detours due to construction. New Delhi is full of roundabouts, and one of the "merging" cars had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting me. They screeched for almost 5 full seconds. I almost died. It was amazing! I think that biking in Delhi is officially more daring than jumping into the Mekong River from 9 meters up while in Vang Vieng, Laos.
I got lost on this road that felt like it had no end until I realized that it was actually the road I was trying to get to (Mother Teresa Crescent), and it's where I saw the statue of the Salt March, a monument to Indian independence.
I saw monkeys (some were still pink from the Festival of Colors); I got stared at often; I went to a beautiful marble tomb from the 16th century right as it closed; and I went to a strongly Muslim part of town where I got looked at with hopeful/confused looks. I think the size of my beard makes people think I might be Muslim, which is going to make my flight back to the US interesting since it is from Syria, my beard will be bigger, and I ordered a Muslim meal for my flight.
I arrived at the Indira Gandhi Museum with about 15 minutes til close. I had to hurry through it, but it was still quite powerful.
When I arrived back to the area of town I'm staying in (Pahar Ganj), I ate a delicious authentic meal at a very reasonably priced family-run restaurant. The father was making the bread under the eave of the restaurant while the oldest son was making the curries and the daals (lentil dishes). The middle son was the server, while the youngest son washed the dishes in the bathroom. It was quite an operation; it was delicious; and it cost 79 rupees (about $1.80 USD). I bought a pair of fisherman pants (pictures to come); I saw two cows lying in the middle of the street; and I got a fresh lassi (fruit juice with yogurt added) from Renu, one of the nicest juice ladies I've ever met. She told me where I could buy my bike today. It was half red grapes and half roosberries (which are not raspberries despite the similarity of the name). It was good mixed, but it was not nearly as good as having them separately, which I did last night. Yes, I had two juices last night; don't judge.
In case you're wondering how I got from Thailand to India, just realize that I haven't blogged about Cambodia or Laos yet because the memory card which has those pictures has a virus on it. I can still get to them, but I need a certain program which is not on any of the computers at the internet cafes I've found here in Delhi.
I'll leave you with a quote from Indira Gandhi's son, Rajiv:
"In the heart of a truly non-violent person, there is a profound belief that hate can only be driven out by love, that anger can only be conquered by compassion, and that fear can only be overcome by courage." -Rajiv Gandhi