We have arrived safely and soundly in the cosmopolitan but (partially) crumbling capital of India. It was a 50 hour sweaty train ride crossing much of the country, and even taking a route that went from where we were on the west coast, to the east coast and then up towards the north, closer to the west. Brian and I did not get to ride in the same berth as we had waitlisted tickets. I sat across from a girl younger than me pursuing her masters degree in genetics travelling to Delhi for school with her family. Brian was with a group of young men training up for a few day vacation in the capital. Both parties were happy to skootch over so we could hang out.
The Commonwealth games are happening here in a few months, and they are giving a new face to many parts of the city. By that I mean they are tearing down the fronts of seemingly every building, tearing up the streets and the sidewalks. You can always walk to where you need to go, shop owners have put wooden planks over holes in the streets and everyone is making due. The air is thick with dust and there are piles of rubble as tall as me! This isn’t the whole city of course, we went to the Diplomatic enclave to visit the train museum and it was immaculate (the parliament buildings are amazing). Shiny new street signs too! And bus stops with the bus numbers labelled! There is a metro subway here and it is the nicest metro I have EVER seen. It even smells nice! It’s pretty new, but it’s highly efficient, clean and is fun to ride.
And there’s a variety of foods available… we’ve had pizza and pasta and veggie burgers and enchiladas and EVEN…….. SUSHI DINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (with Sezhuan style eggplant and chilly garlic noodles) in a swanky restaurant that we could never afford to eat at in Canada. I love Indian food, but in Netoor, there were only a few restaurants and after a month.. Here’s to hoping the food dreams subside.
Thanks to a kind lady on Ravelry.com, I found the source for pure mohair yarn at crazy low prices. It was located in the middle of an insane bazaar whose streets may not have changed too much in a hundred years. I had directions to a shop, from where we were led down winding streets and up some stairs to a wholesaler in a multi-story stone room surround by cones (1 KG) of thread and yarns in every colour stacked to the ceiling. The room had men with little pieces of coloured thread climbing all over on ladders trying to match the colours they had to what was in the room and picking up their orders. In giant sacks laid my goal, the mohair yarn. The sacks were as big as me and I poked at sample balls while eating cookies and tea. I ended up buy a cone of bright red and 3 giant hanks of undyed totalling kilo and some and 2 hanks of undyed pure wool sock yarn for using here. (PS Alex, a soft package will be arriving in 6 weeks or so). And the best of all, it cost 1000 R, approx $25 CAD. The cheapest, crappiest half fake mohair available online/at Walmart is still at least $2-3 Cad a ball (50g). The nice stuff is $8 – 10. $20 kg, HAHAHA. We even got to use a cycle-rickshaw to get back to our area – these guys are some of the most hardcore cyclists I have ever encountered. Between the potholes and traffic and mine and Brian’s combined weight he whooshed us as quickly as the moto-guys and charged us 20 R. We gave him 15 tip for being honest and so hardworking.
We visited the national train museum, which was awesome. They had like 60 locomotives and train relics galore, I’ll be posting only a fraction of the photos I have.
I just spent 20 minutes uploading photos but it didn’t, well ‘take’.
As an update, we are actually in Sringar, in Kashmir. Everything is calm here but we are heading east tomorrow, we’ll be near an internet cafe again either tomorrow (unlikely) or in 5 days or so. Bah!