Soo, the agent who set up my ticket from Delhi to Bangalore, where I would catch my flight, booked my ticket one day too late. he thought the train to Bangalore was 18 hours, when, in fact, it is 40 hours, meaning i would miss my flight. So, i promptly flipped my wig (it's reversible), sweated through my waistecoat, ran around town and found out i could change my flight the next morning at 9am at the Air India offices, which are in this insane experimental building 5 minutes from the train station. phew.
i had to find a hotel on the totally insane filthy Main Bazaar in Delhi, and I ended up at the Traveler's Inn, which I think means that you have to "travel" up five stories of stairs to reach the rooms. the only people i saw there were sweaty, bellied Indian men in towels, watching blaring Indian TV, who would wander out of the rooms every few minutes to sweat on the balcony, looking like killer villains b/c their figures were lit only by the light from the TV.
something about India: in India you go to sleep between 9 and 11, b/c you cannot sleep past 7am b/c it gets WAAAYY too hot; you awake naturally in a spit bath of your own secretions, parched.
so, the power kept going out in the night, which, in India, means that your ceiling fan stops working and you wake up feeling like you have ebola or pac-man fever or the mutaba virus, like your flesh is melting off in a hot lava bath. i've taken to keeping a pitcher of water by my side while i sleep, which i can douse myself with in the heat of the night in order to cool off. but, if the fan stops working, this just means that you are hot AND wet in a hard bed.
each time the power went out, by the time the heat awoke me, the man from the reservations office would stumble up the four flights of stairs with a flashlight and flip a bunch of switches and start screaming at this club house of old men at the end of my hall, who were watching TV. i think i gathered that they were turning off the power to the other rooms so that they could have power for...something. i dunno what. anyways, they kept screaming and arguing all night, the power would turn on and off, i would wake up hot and shitty feeling. all the sweating and cement walls and shitty TVs and sreaming old grizzly men in towels with cigarettes, i felt like i was under cover as an errand boy for a tropical drug cartel.
WHAT I SEEN:
i am talking w/this man about where the bus station is. a severe-looking Israeli woman approaches us and asks the man, in a stern tone, "where is the McDonald's?!" he says it's like a 15 minute walk and she says she would have to take a taxi. then he says "well there are a lot of restaurants just there." and she says "yeah, yeah, i know, i don't want that, i want McDonald's", at which point, she stormed off in a hungry huff to flag down and be swindled by a rickshaw driver.
one thing about young Indian men:
they LOVE LOVE LOVE sappy shitty romantic pop ballads and will play them OVER AND OVER, on repeat for like 2 hours. i have witnessed this MANY times here. today, in particular, while at a coffee chain called Barista Lavazza (i think it's India's Starbucks, i keep seeing it around), the "barista" switched the stereo to play Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" from the Titanic soundtrack. it started to play a second time and i didn't really notice, i thought it was just still going. and then it played again. and then a few more times. and then i couldn't even read this book i'm reading b/c it was so mind blowing how much this guy LOVED this 10 years old SHITTY song from Titanic and ...i donno, it was so distracting i had to leave.
another thing about pop music in India:
a bunch of songs that you thought you'd never hear again, from Jr. High and High School, are still played VERY FREQUENTLY in India and people love them. Brian Adams, Mandy Moore, late 90s Bon Jovi, the Backstreet Boys (not even N*Sync, the B.B.), music from like, the Kevin Costner's Robin Hood soundtrack, very early Britney Spears, it's so strange. Cool dudes LOVE the stuff.
I am loving it:
I finally ate at McDonald's today. i been meaning to, but i haven't really been in any big cities. they have all this crazy shit, like Veggie Surprise burger, Aloo Tikki burger (holy shit!!), Paneer Masala wrap. And, by India standards, McDonald's is REALLY expensive. It was 109 Rupees for a combo xtra valu pak meal, which is like $2. And, yesterday, I ate at a VERY fancy, nicely lit and decorated, foo-foo restaurant where the food was very fine indeed, and, with a very fancy drink and all this stuff, it was only 100 Rupees. Usually, at a tourist hotel, where prices are a little inflated, you eat for 50-75 rupees, with a drink & stuff.
Well, I ordered a straight up McVeggie burger combo meal. I can say this about that: the fries were just as shriveled and tan as always, the mayo was applied just as liberally, the Coca-Cola was just as watery and gross (no ice!), the lettuce was just as wilted and anemic, the bun just as sesame and the ketchup was still in packets (though nice, unwrinkled packets. sorta like the diff btwn new bills from a bank and crumbly sticky candy store change bills, AND they have a receptacle for unused packets! to be used again!!). the only thing really different was the patty inside had some unsettling spices inside. just something you don't expect inside a burger. i did get to watch insane Indian TV on a big flatscreen though, that was cool. they also really push the soft serve here in India.
Delhi has some really insane Modernist buildings. i really like them a lot. it's actually pretty nice, like a nice Canadian city, when you go the right parts, away from the train stations.
I also went to the National Museum of India, which was very cool. antiques and artifacts. i hella wanna watch Indian Jones. and play Magic the Gathering. GIGANTIC evil scimitars, spikey elephant traps, look like the Sarlac's mouth, long needle-like daggers, strange old square coins with really crappy printing on them, elephant armor, ancient cannons which are mounted on elephants, weird Predator claw weapons, extremeley ornate, 6 ft long rifles. and outside is this insane rolling temple, which is like a giant, heavily decorated octagonal wooden thing on big cart wheels, it's so cool. i took a picture. i saw one on the street in Hampi as well, during the election march.
ok, g2g, figure out the bus to the airport so I don't get ripped off by a cabbie.