New Delhi

More from New Delhi

We met up with our driver for the duration of the trip. We never actually figured out his real name but he told us to call him Dave. We started out the day by going to a monument, because Dave seemed rather perplexed that we had spent the majority of our first day shopping, not sightseeing. He dropped us at Humayun's Tomb. Again, I don't really know the exact history of the thing but it was elaborate and beautiful. The grounds were as magnificent and peaceful as the building itself.

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From there, we went to see another monument, which we of course knew nothing about and turned out to be closed anyways. This is the Lotus Temple, aka the  Baha'i house of worship.

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After appeasing his desire for us to see the monuments of India, Dave conceded and took us to what I refer to as Aladdin's Cave of Treasures. We were promptly picked up by a salesman when we walked in who led us to the scarves. Buying textiles in India is like having a personal shopper. You get seated on a couch while the salesperson stands on a platform and presents items to you of all different qualities (money). From the scarves, we were led to the punjabis (tunic shirts), purses, bedspreads, custom fabric and collectibles. It's a good thing we weren't on a schedule because a good hour had passed by the time we actually made our purchases!

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After our shopping excursion, Dave took us to Connaught Place which I had read contained some pretty cool specialty stores that export to the US. He dropped us off at a restaurant on a corner and told me to call him when we were finished. Unfortunately, as we sat down to lunch, I realized that I had left my phone in the car. The restaurant was amazing. I had some dry potatoes (meaning not floating in curry) that packed a crazy punch!

We finished lunch and decided to walk around Connaught Place for awhile, which was quite the opposite of what I had read about before the trip. We almost felt as though we were being chased, like in a movie. Everyone stared at us while we were walking down the street and if we paused for a moment, we were assaulted with offers to lead us to the "nearest bazaar". Luckily, we were rescued by Dave, who happened to be circling around. He dropped us off at an English-language bookstore.

It was at this bookstore that I had a horrifying experience with a squatty. Being that most facilities in Indonesia are squatties, I didn't think it would be a problem in India. Boy was I wrong. I asked an employee if they had a restroom I could use. He said, "Yes miss, please follow me" and proceeded to lead me out the back of the store to a small shack in the alley. I was not prepared for what I saw when I opened the door.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with squatty potties, they are basically porcelain bowls set down into the ground, where you squat. Usually, they are equipped with a flusher or accompanied by a bucket that you fill up then dump into the squatty.

I opened the door to the shack and was greeted by the unpleasant odor that usually accompanies a squatty. This squatty, however, did not flush. In addition, there was tobacco spit or vomit (I honestly couldn't tell) running down the wall near the mirror. After seeing what I was up against, I suddenly did not have to use the restroom anymore and made a hasty exit through the alley.

Dave obliged and dropped us off at one last market before taking us back to the hotel. We went back to the Paharganj market we had visited the previous night. This time, it was bustling with backpackers who kept disappearing down small dark alleys to find their hostels (which made me all the more grateful that we had not chosen that route). 

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We capped off the day with a visit to a rooftop cafe in the bazaar. We got up there just as the sun was setting and there were stunning views of the market below.

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