Ganj Main Bazar
roam the streets
September 26, 2000 (21-days)
From the balcony of my hotel in
overlooking the Pahar Ganj Main Bazar, the chaos below seems tame compared
to 20-days ago when I arrived in
Yet I know the change is in my perception.
Horns are still constantly honking and bells on bicycles are ringing.
People, bikes, motorcycles, rickshaws and cars rush up and down the
narrow streets filled with shops and restaurants.
Cows, which are worshiped in
roam the streets and pick through the trash.
Down on the street it's a different game.
You have to walk with a purpose, a bit like NY.
You also have to watch where you step – cow pies.
As a foreigner, India
is not an easy place to travel. There
are several scams, which the guide books and fellow travelers warn you
about. As far as I know, I was
fortunate to escape them, although today is my last day here :~) People
lie about how much things cost, they will even try to take you to a hotel
with a similar name to try and get commission.
From the airport, I had someone tell me it cost 600 rupees (45 Rs =
$1 USD) to take me to my hotel. When
I located the pre-paid taxi booth sponsored by the police, the rate was
210 Rs. Every time I think I
have the system figured out, it changes :~)
Unfortunately there are just enough people trying to cheat that you become
leery and it's difficult to trust the locals.
Men, women and children ask me for money several times a day.
On occasion, I give food, but you come to terms with the fact that
you cannot help everyone. You
are constantly hassled on the street to book a hotel, tour or take a
rickshaw. You become numb to
it after a while and they see it in your eyes.
These conditions make it difficult to bond with the people.
The locals in most of the hotels and restaurants are quite friendly.
They are also friendly on buses and trains.
Just like my Indian friends back home :~) I
tend to meet fellow travelers in hotels and information centers.
I've met a lot of cool people.
Most tourists are from Israel
I've hung out with a few from Australia,
I see a few "new friends" in multiple cities.
The foreigners are easy to spot in a crowd.