Tuesday Oct 18, 2005 - day 19 - Back in Delhi - Kathy: 229 photos, Bob: 138 photos
Today we had a full day in
There were two Muslim tombs in the park which we had a great time exploring.
We had talked our former OAT guide, Sujay, into picking us up at the hotel and taking us shopping. When we were on the OAT portion of our trip, I kept looking for good shopping, but I found only two kinds: overpriced treasures that cost a fortune and cheap-ass junk made for the tourists. I didn’t like either, and I let Sujay know it.
I love decorative boxes.
I’m also a woodworker and can make my own boxes, so I’m a bit picky
about them. I’ve done my research and I
can tell you this: if you find any nice
forty-dollar box in the
Sujay had been kind enough to store two of our bags at
his home so we didn’t have to carry them on the train to
I wasn’t disappointed in the shop, either. It had some very good quality stuff for reasonable prices. I was so impressed that we ran our credit card up seven-hundred dollars for some wonderful things, including a very large decorative box with white inlay that will be a nightmare to get home. I also bought a white marble statue of Ganesha like the one I saw earlier, only better.
After shopping, we walked down the street to a famous
After lunch, Sujay took us to the national museum. Outside was a replica of one of the Ashoka inscriptions.
museum had all kinds of good statues from
Another thing I found interesting about the museum is the
parallel between ancient Indian and Greek mythology. The Greeks, I knew, believed that when you
die, you first meet up with a ferryman and cross the river
I tell you what, I’ll sweeten the pot: The ancient Indians also had a god named Kamadeva who had a bow and arrow, and if he shot you, you would be smitten with arrows of love. Sound like anyone familiar? A guy named Cupid perhaps?
Another thing I found out in the museum: You know the famous “Dancing Shiva” statue?
I’ve seen it a thousand times, but what I didn’t know is that it signifies the end of the world. In other words, when Shiva dances, his third-eye opens, and he does his job of destroying. Heads roll. Like something out of a Manowar song.
The museum also had a fancy Buddhist reliquary, supposedly containing relics from the Buddha. And here I thought only Christians and Muslims had reliquaries.
We saw a lot of Garudas too, which are like winged flying
men who transported the gods. We had
seen a lot of them in
Unfortunately, by the time we got through the museum, we were tired, hot, and generally tired of looking at statues. The museum was very good, but we just weren’t in the mood.
Sujay had to leave to pick his wife up from work, so he dropped us off at the hotel and we bad him a fond farewell. He was one of the best guides we’ve ever had. He was always willing to bend to the needs and requests of the travelers in his care. We gave him an appropriately large tip, shook hands and said our goodbyes.
While riding around
When we got to the fort, we were delighted to find out that the performance was free.
It was sponsored by the
Government of Delhi, and every night for a couple of weeks, they had a
different performance. Tonight’s
performance was like a martial arts display.
Some parts seemed very much like T’ai Chi Chuan of China. Other parts seemed very much like something
you’d see in
At times, this was a calm, meditative and quiet display.
Other times, it had incredible energy. The people on stage were dancing, jumping through hoops of fire, balancing. One guy whipped steel swords around faster than I thought was even possible, and when I say that, remember that come from a place of experience: I studied T’ai Chi, Pa Gua, Xing Yi, and Shaolin Kung Fu for years.
When we got back to the hotel, we realized we hadn’t eaten anything for dinner. We hated to take the time because it was () and we knew we had to get up early, like in order to catch our early flight back home. Still, we went to the hotel restaurant and I ordered some Tandoori chicken.
We waited and waited and waited for our chicken, and now it was . I complained to the waiter, and still our food didn’t come. I told Kathy that I wouldn’t have ordered the food if I had any idea it was going to take that long. Finally, we got the food with the apologies of everyone, and they told us it was “on the house” because of the long delay. The food was good, and I decided to pay for it anyway.
We went back to our room and prepared for our early morning flight back home.
The biggest hassle about the trip home was when we got to