Location: New Delhi, Indian Subcontinent
It's been a long day, fed up with the constant noise, thankfully packing my earplugs and hearing the alarm was a joy.
Brekky sposed to start at 7 but I went up and got my stuff at 6.40
Toast, lentil dish with a fried roti bread, candied spuds, I think. All in complete moderation so as not to overload my stomach
Driver was here early, so off to Agra
Passed a new F1 circuit , passed a new elevated metro line
Passed loads of unfinished skyscrapers
Get to Agra , have to take a ricksha (sic) to the west gate, polluters are forbidden with 500metres plus my driver has his parking space, think clovelly type situation .
I get immediately hassled as per Beijing but I'm told to ignore them & I do, I forgot my free bottle of water but collect my over shoes for when I'm at the temple
It's amazing, with beautiful gardens and a toilet that tourists are invited to Pay for but I notice the locals don't. I still thank Bill Cove for always telling me to take toilet paper with me lol
I was early to meet my ricksha driver so I treated myself to a cup of street black tea, please be boiled water was my prayer as my £0.15 was served to me.
One of the things I remember of my Grandfather , he was in India, was him explaining why locals drank tea in hot countries, Grandad I've copied you at last!
Later an irksome wait for my wheels but he arrived , took me to the car, who took me to the marble place, I can't afford £350 for a table but I've got something akin to Beijing for you .
Suddenly I'm told I need lunch, I have a cheese in sauce with naan bread, pricey at £9 but its where I was taken to!
Drive home was hectic as the driver was dozing at the wheel of the car, American style huge freeways so great for dozing off, I convinced him I was thirsty and he took the break to get some caffeine inside him.
Back In Delhi, making plans for my escape Thursday , tomorrow site seeing with my driver, yuk but wtf-
Everyone wants to sell me something but I just want to sit and watch - as a very chatty Tuk Tuk driver explained you are foreign , you look foreign , you can't escape
Tonight the local beer shop is open, the local cheap bar has Indian music on
I would like some dinner
Location: New Delhi, Indian Subcontinent
So I got to my hotel
The Tuk Tuk driver I had met on my early walk failed to show so after haggling with another, " how much to the pearl hotel ? 100 rupees
I might be white but I'm not stupid
I'll pay 50 and that's your lot
I get here.
This place is so f*****g nosey - I'm at a set of traffic lights in the Tuk Tuk,I've the address of the Pearl Hotel on my lap; next to it is written the name of a chap whose schmoosed £4.50 for a couple hours of guide time.- Bloke looks in and says I know him, a good man but if you need a guide here's my number -Space I need space!
Not quite so many guards here but friendly all the same, I gave a porter a £1.50 tip for carrying my bag to the room, he came back into give me the wifi code and drops the note, later I meet him and give it back
Locally it's wild , noise , people and noise
There's a Seedy bar next door- a sign reminds you not to Carry weapons in!
Twice the beer, twice the strength half the price- my kinda place.
Met loads of people telling me my R10000 is too much for the next 2 days car & Driver
Whatever - I've not heard from the booking people so maybe getting my £200 refunded will be a chore
It's 5 ish so a couple of "cheap" beers
A Tuk Tuk back the the park hotel, more veggies curry , a possible walk thru the markets with Ann and Mimi , maybe, then up at 6 for Agra
I just wish Delhians understood the meaning of personal space , this is what I can't cope with ,the constant barrage of questions it's rude to be rude but it's almost getting necessary lol
I've met some great entrepreneur types, the ilk as the Gangers and bosses I worked with in London. I think I was maybe an Indian in a previous life!
Location: New Delhi, Indian Subcontinent
Started with the 2 HR delay at Heathrow , mind you got talking to a nice person from Leeds and we discussed travel, Spanish and working in Westminster
Flight was ok, the baby didn't really bother me , food was ok and I watched a Ben affleck film called the accountant; very clever plot but not enough time to tell the whole story but then would I be bovvered?
Monday morning and I've slept ok thru the night
Breakfast here is included, a very big buffet with lots of everything, still taking Anns advice ,I am avoiding meat, which is no real hardship as it seems to be only a sausage of sorts. I've eaten baked beans on toast and a light Bombay potato and a spicy doughnut.
A delight was a chap who had sat at my 2 person table, when I returned with my plate of veggie goodies, I just expected to move to another table but he bid me sit, told me he was a travel courier living in the south of the country and had been tasked to look after a couple up here. He rushed his breakfast down , complimented me on my choice of Indian food and dashed off to catch a train.
Last evening I spent with my new friends Ann & her daughter Mimi , Ann is from Worcester and Mimi lives in Corsham, small world etc. They were on the flight and when they strolled into the park I was in the middle of sorting the room crisis out, Ann , a traveller from numerous adventures, is an easy going ex pub landlady and of course instantly ready to start up in conversation.
When I first saw them at Heathrow they were both in fits of laughter , Mimi claimed not to remember what they found so funny but I later discovered that they had been drinking cocktails , so that maybe was the lubricant.
After I had found my room and showered I was setting off to find a source of cheaper beer, hotel bottle beer is £5.50 after numerous tax and services charges have been added; earlier I had collared Ann & Mimi's courier and asked a) what is a reasonable tip for portage (R 50 ) and where can cheap beer be bought-who should be in the foyer but Ann, she was looking for Mimi ; she asked what I was doing and I said that I was off in search of cheap beer thanks to her courier. She asked me to tell her what I had found after my trip.
I walked a few hundred metres and found lots of street sellers, people sleeping on the street and dogs sleeping next to the people sleeping on the street. I found a restaurant that called its self a bar, I drank some half priced, compared to the hotel , beer and eat a vegetarian cheese in sauce dish , excellent , with naan bread. The meal and 2 beers came to what 2 beers cost in the hotel, service seems to be always added so no worries about tips
I found the equivalent of a Tesco local, no beer to be had so I set off to explore the block a little and walk back to the hotel. True to my word I went to the bar , which extends out to the pool and found Ann and Mimi lounging , Mimi being brave and had been swimming but apparenty the water is freezing ! Around us beautifully dressed Indians attending a wedding reception .
We talked for ages, drank mega priced drinks and agreed to meet the next evening to go for a stroll around the market across the road.
To try and explain where I am is v. Difficult , I guess I'm in the centre of town 10 minutes away from an amazing metro , a colourful walk to the hotel and a shock when you get here. In Kathmandu I remember the hell had a big wall and gates protecting it, a guard dressed in a pseudo police uniform and acting as a human door jam. Here is one better by far, armed guards , X-ray scanners and even a guard sat on the elevator.
You are surrounded by taxis, Tuk Tuk taxis and lots of people asking mid you need this that and the other .
I have booked a car for 2 days , which has costs me £150. Tomorrow Agra, Wednesday touring Delhi. Wtf
More to tell about my adventure this morning
Denise told me that John wouldn't want to visit India because of the poverty , you've seen worse in Spain & Catania; what is truly getting to me is you are constantly bombarded by people trying to sell you this that and the other. I am sat in my 6 th floor sanctuary of The Park and will wait my new friend the Tuk Tuk driver ( another story)
I am going to rest for 30 minutes, pack my bag and check out
Location: Chichester, UK
The night before India
First thing is i`ve got UB40 in my head so on Utube I`ve got my way of thinking playing, this is going to distract me but I love this song
I think I`ll do a desert island disc version of a letter
First Hello, how are you? It must be giant despair what you`re going through but at the end of the day you are the asset, when things are straight people will remember the quality of your product , I can`t even get a job with ESL (Britains worst contractor-The one with the Red Audi) Lol- It must be something to do with the quality of my subcontractors turning up upon the owners door threatening to harm him lol.
Matt Bianco-Half a Minute
I saw the most wonderful film on the BBC I player- it was called We`ll take Manhattan, I think-Its about David Bailey & jean Shrimpton-I didnt realise what a brilliant photography he is-You should watch it for the brilliant shots of NYC
I`ve been looking for day trips to Agra, Taj Mahal. On Trip advisor they are starting at £70 & when you ask for a firm quote they say £200-so I haven`t booked anything just yet, I may say f--k it & go under my own steam
This will involve getting the train to Agra , a Taxi plus entrance to the site-Real Adventure
A challenge maybe lol
Swans way-Soul train
This morning it was very sunny; the front doors of the trailer face east so I took the opportunity of ironing my shirts for the trip on the decking-got some strange looks but it was lovely to be ironing in Sunglasses
Since my new job will be Working Ive been exercising which has involved cycling lots , some press ups (which are v. hard work) but where I live, across the Chichester bypass any journey involves crossing these huge bridges across the A27. Today I cycled to the big Tesco for an eye test. It was fun getting there half an hour early sat in the sun in a motorcycle parking bay & reading a novel A Paul Coelho called the Witch of Portabello. Funny even though the reserved space is 2 car spaces wide a twat on a big Honda insisted on parking in front of me lol
Talk Talk-Its my life
Today will be packing my bag, I`ve got a brilliant Karrimor carry-on bag thats got shoulder straps, so its good for the Honda, it will be my longest trip on the new bike but parking at T4 is free & I intend to break the journey at a McD, or similar as 70 odd miles on a step thru can be a bit achey! Its really fun planning for airport parking , what clothes Im going to leave in the Topbox , where to stash my (Hopefully) waterproof Parka and warm gloves plus Crash helmet and do I try & leave boots there or do I wear desert boots to India ?
Visage Night Train
Spandau Ballet-Chant No. 1
I won`t be back in UK, properly, until the 17th, I will have so much washing to sort, my new job starts on the 20th, a lot less a month than I was earning but I hope the quality of life will improve , if my body can handle it, satisfaction from being able to control the quality of work rather than steering a bunch of underpaid blokes
My oh My-Sad café
Space Invader-The Pretenders
I love this song -It is on their first album -my then Girlfriend was into the heavy feminist writing of Chrissie Hynde and in the middle of this album there is this wonderful instrumental-I still listen to odd bits of the album even some Joanie Mitchell she used to play lol
Who do you think I was -John Mayer
While correcting my dreadful spelling, I found an album that I used to have on VHS & I gave away to a Coke Addled friend in West London-I thought I would never hear this album again, its a tape of a live gig by Alexis Korner & Colin Hodgkinson A track is playing that I hummed all the way across morocco in 1986.
I`ve been watching, quite by accident, a lot of Bush craft stuff & a Utuber called rewildyourself (bloke actually spent a night in a loin -cloth in freezing conditions to prove he could survive with literally nothing)- while he was cuddling his hot rocks he started talking about living outside of our comfort zone, taking cold showers, missing meals that sort of thing.. he asked for viewers to comment on what things they had done outside the box- I can`t say Ive spent the night naked in the North of the USA but I wonder if sleep walking around Ho Chi Minh city in just a T shirt & a pair of boxer shorts counts lol; maybe get lots of angry survivalists in Cammo paint gunning for me lol.
Sheryl Crowe & Prince-Everyday is a winding Road