Delhi. The Magic, The Madness

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Sensory overload. We’d heard other’s say that there is no way to prepare yourself for India. However we thought that being well experienced travelers, we’d be better prepared than most… we had no idea what we were talking about. Try as we might there literally is no way to prepare yourself for the madness. India is a whole new animal. Just like everyone else who crosses her border, we start from scratch. At square one. Suddenly we’re new travelers all over again, but in such a very different way.

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Like coming out of a dark room, it takes time for the eyes to adjust to the streets of Delhi. Garbage is piled up in the gutters, piles of dirt and debris sit on corners, livestock wanders the narrow roads, traffic is clogged beyond imagination… and strangely enough a modern city swarms around it all. The streets are loud, and dirty. Sidewalks are virtually nonexistent. Yet there are skyscrapers, a metro system, a major hospital… Look one direction and it feels like poor, rural town with no infrastructure. Look a different direction and it feel like an angry, hard metropolis. Delhi is hard to categorize, and is so overwhelming that it takes courage to not submit to the temptation to run away.

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We can’t walk two steps from our guesthouse without being enveloped by salesman, rickshaw drivers, and deep, long stares from passersby. It is easy to forget that this is one of the oldest cities in the world, and that Delhi deserves the effort it takes. But it is a culture shock that penetrates deeper than anyplace we’ve been to yet. The hard exterior of Delhi, we imagine, opens up to great things.

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