New Delhi in a Tuk-Tuk

Sunday November 30th

After meeting with Noedup we went to a sort of middle class market near to the hotel. We rode in a tuk-tuk, a natural gas powered trike with room for three people to sit hip to hip in a canvas covered booth near the size of a steamer truck. Patricia commented it was like a carnival ride. They are all over Asia, in Delhi mixing with the cars, trucks, motorcycles, horse carts, elephants, and busses and every-moving mass of self-monitoring chaos weaving itself through the city.

At every major light we are invited to purchase something, fist-fulls of car-lighter cell phone charges, copies of Vogue magazine. One boy had his arms through the railing of the windowless tuk-tuk placing plastic wrapped copies of current best-sellers in our laps while we sat silently shaking our heads even as he dropped from six dollars to a dollar fifty. A bright eyed determined boy, he actually caught up to us at a second light and started his pitch again, this time touching the book to my heart over and over.

All of it had the flavor of being on a ride in a low end amusement park. Sort of fun. And with that was the heightening a sense of illusion like when you are at a fair. You turn and see a family of four relaxedly riding a 150 cc motorcycle with the mother sidesaddle on the rear as relaxed as someone watching TV, the baby in front of the father on the gas tank and the toddler in between.

At the market we got some supplies like a hot water kettle and some luggage locks. Behind some billboards sandwiched between two mini-malls we spotted women in orange and purple saris and dirty but sparkle fringed headscarves digging the foundation of a new building by hand and moving the brown sandy earth out with the help of an army of donkeys. Besides the donkeys we sighted an elephant, horses, various dogs, cows, squirrels, pigeons, hawks and a fat nursing daschund during our days in New Delhi.

 

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