Cold weather but a warm welcome

We were welcomed in Delhi to cold and strangely foggy weather – probably largely caused by the pollution, creating an  eerie atmosphere and you can’t see beyond your immediate surroundings. The dramatic thunderstorm we awoke to this morning was even more strange for the this time of year.

Although the weather was unexpectedly cold, we arrived to a very warm welcome. On arriving at the DIA university in Delhi we were welcomed with vermilion bindhis on our foreheads and gifts of roses, we felt like royalty! We were later told that guests in India are treated as if they are gods – they definitely show this and always make time to look after you and make sure you are ok. Such a nice change from the too busy English!

Our first day was spent seeing sights around Delhi, the mughal forts and ruins. We drove to these places which meant we spent a lot of time in heavy traffic. DIA is situated in Noida, a seperate suburb of the city. Getting anywhere takes ages normally with the traffic anyway, but they are building a tram line and many of the roads have diversions. There’s enough entertainment on the roads of India for it not to be boring though!

The sights were very interesting although hard to concentrate on the history when being followed by gawping men, making us feel like celebrities being papped, and being watched everywhere we went. I was quite used to it having spent time in India before, but the rest of the girls didn’t know how to react feeling a mix of amusement and anger. I think a group of young western girls is something of a novelty for them!

The business and craziness of inner-city Delhi knackered us enough to get a long well needed sleep last night. I’m now ready to start on work. Although, the students are holding a welcome party for us today…
I can tell I am not going to get as much done as intended, it never seems to happen in India, too many unexpected surprises!

Funny quotes of the day:

‘I’m no ordinary man’, ‘I make you happy, you make me happy’ – tour guide at the Red Fort

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