The Rickshaw and Sensory Overload


 RICKSHAW ride and other delights
A pleasant good evening from New Delhi and the Metropolitan Hotel and Spa. Today was EPIC!
We began with breakfast and a totally different variety to the breakfast buffet selection. We discussed plans for the day and my inability to reach the Women’s Only Taxi company for a tour. Sherry negotiated a private ride for nine women (the rest are already on a pre arranged tour of markets). Two tour vehicles, two drivers and one tour guide … At 11 a.m.
We saw some spectacular structures including temples and mosques and the smaller and original Taj Mahal of Delhi. We had lunch in an unauthentic bar and grill type restaurant that was pricey and also served very good food, and beverages. I had a vegetable biryani that was tasty and plentiful served in a stone crock. Wow …
After was the adventure to the old Delhi market. The ride through traffic in Delhi is pretty spectacular and a bit crazy … Honking … vehicles passing on both sides, pedestrians on the streets, tuktuk and rickshaw riders pulling major loads of goods, and all manner of trucks and other cars. It is loud and on the “other” side of the road from what we are used to. It is chaotic and many traffic circles and crossing of lanes … What lanes?? Lol
We arrived at the market and I confess I was at first reluctant to leave the safety of the comfortable van with competent driver. The view of the market, the poverty, the sights along the sides of the road, many many men, maybe some have never washed?? Dogs, monkeys everywhere. However, I was encouraged and I grabbed on to the arm of a travelling friend and decided I wanted to have the experience – I felt the fear and did it anyway. Off we ventured.
I dare say I will likely never experience anything again quite as intense as that walk along the markets — row upon row upon row of spices, foods, people, animals ….  
We walked through the retail and then wholesale sections — so very interesting, colourful, and loud. Every sense is on alert and active, absorbing sights, sounds, smells and textures. I purchased 4 large oranges from a small wagon stall, with the help of my travelling friend. We then shared a Rickshaw ride through some of the most colourful fabric and bright windows decorated with gold jewellery and bright gemstones …. Incredible and so very crowded. Every rickshaw had two people to pull, 5 in all, taking the 9 of us and tour guide through miles ??? Of market. It would have taken at least 45 minutes to an hour to walk …. and in the back of the rickshaw, pulled by a very fit man who worked very hard and negotiated through the densely populated alleys… We had the chance to take pictures and look at the sights. We decided to tip our driver and doubled his payment. Then as we exited and we’re leaving the market, I purchased the flag of India from a street vendor as a gift for my grandsons. One day I will tell them of my day in Delhi when I found the flag for them.  
On the outing today I saw cows, monkeys and even an elephant on the highway! I had to take my shoes off and walk around cold marble floor in a Temple and later in the day at a Mosque. I ate three meals of Indian cuisine in one day and drank several litres of water (still hydrating from the long flight).
Memorable and exhausting.  
The clothes arrived at the hotel at 7 pm …. that were carefully ordered and constructed from the visit to the Mantra Craft Mart fabric store of yesterday afternoon.  
Back to the same dining establishment went 4 of us ladies, to Hotel Saravana Bhavan … Then home to the hotel in a tuk tuk – I was in front again and hung on tight.
Nothing will feel as chaotic in the vehicle as the rickshaw ride of this afternoon. Maybe never again in my lifetime will I experience the sensations of this day. It will always be enough and memorable.
I feel centred and calm and a bit tired this evening as I write this. Ready for tomorrow morning early to join our tour of Royal India. Thanks for all the encouragement to come on this tour and for those who assist me everyday to show up and venture beyond my comfort zone.
As I sit in my silk pyjamas and robe freshly made in India, I bid you all a lovely evening and Namaste.

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