Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A CULTURAL SHOCK!

OLD DELHI - FEBRUARY 2008

It took me a long time to decide to travel to India and make it the main destination of a holiday! After returning, I read a book of Regis Airault on people going to India, «Les Fous de L'Inde» (Crazy on India). The main thesis is that westerners who go to India are either already crazy to go there or will become crazy about it after having been there... A thesis that will probably become more understandable after the next posts...

***



"WELCOME"

***

OLD DELHI



"CHANDNI CHOWK is the main street in Old Delhi. It runs through the middle of the walled city, from the Lahore Gate of the Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid. Originally it had a canal running in its middle as a part of the city's water supply scheme"


"MC DONALD'S - Incongruous!"


"FOUNTAIN - Rest of the old water supply scheme"




"WALKING through the streets of Old Delhi, with Ajmal leading the way"





"KARIM is an Old Delhi institution, serving non-vegetarian food since 1913, just opposite the Jama Masjid mosque in the walled city area of Delhi. Some claim that every food guide has voted it Delhi's best restaurant for many years; it's probably an exaggeration, but the food is highly recommended!"


"STREET MOVEMENT - It's not an easy task to stroll around in Old Delhi..."


"HOTEL TAJ - There are several hotels named Taj..."




"TRAFIC - The first impression is that the traffic is an absolute nightmare; and it proves even truer with time..."



"BOLLYWOOD - What a way to get the feeling..."

62 comments:

Trotter said...

Hi everybody! This is the first post of a long series on India 2008 and the first time I’m below a 12-month delay on posting; but it will be hard to keep it so... ;))
These last weeks have been terrible; hope it will improve a little bit during the next one, so that I may pay some attention to your blogs and comments. Meanwhile have a fantastic season and a gorgeous 2009!!... And thank you for your continuous support!!

Irina said...

Quite bizarre choice for Christmas pictures but I like them, nevertheless :)

Thank you for sharing the world of your travels! And I'm particularly grateful for the kind comments you leave in my blog.
Merry Christmas and happy holiday season!

Dawning One said...

the merriest of Christmases to you Gil and abundance of blessings for 2009, which you will need if you want to continue your global travels :-)

hpy said...

Too much people for someone like me, but I suppose that you can get crazy about India in a way or another. i have a fellow blogger from Finland who seems to be crazy about all that comes from India, be it Bollywood or anything else.
Some Finns are also Lapland-crazy, wanting to return there all the time, and I believe that some people, not only the Finns, get crazy about Africa in the same way as well.
In the meantime, I try not to be too crazy even if the times are hectic, so I wish you a very good Christams, may you stop down your pace a little and rest druing the holidays. Feliz natal.

Vamsee said...

Welcome to India. I hope you were able to look beyond the chaos and found intriguing monuments and history.
Merry Christmas

~PakKaramu~ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
indicaspecies said...

Gil,

You've captured just a part of the essence of India. Will look forward to other intriguing pictures.

By the way, had a hearty laugh at these words:
"WALKING through the streets of Old Delhi, with Ajmal leading the way"
LOL

Have a Merry Christmas!

Rhonda said...

When I look at your images of India, what I notice most is people, people, people. WOW! I'll bet it was an interesting trip. Looking forward to 2009!
Rhonda

lv2scpbk said...

I like the flower necklaces you and your wife have on. Seems theirs a McDonalds everywhere. Is there not anywhere that there isn't? I'd be surprised.

You and your wife have a Merry Christmas!

Neva said...

I hope all is well with you and yours this holiday season! Merry Christmas to you! My daughter and 88 y/o Motherinlaw are in Singapore and are traveling to India next week. I personally think they are nuts but then, I am just the mom and the daughter in law....what do I know?

Ron said...

Very nice pictures yet again. India isn't a place that I care to visit, but your pictures may change my mind.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

99 said...

mmmmm Indian food...
I wish I had some for Christmas...
Have a Merry one!

namaki said...

How funny ! I was just talking about Dehli with some friends when I opened your blog ! nice coincidence! happy Christmas !

Joy said...

Indeed these photos paint a crazy India - but I still would like to visit one of these days. I hope your tummies survived!

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo. Happy holidays!


joy
A Pinay In England
Your Love Coach
I, Woman

Lori said...

What a fascinating and colorful place. India has always been high on the list of places I'd like to visit. I hope I get there one day. Until I do, I'll just enjoy seeing it through your great photos. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!

jen laceda said...

Gil,

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Wow, India! What a chaotic city. I probably could not live there permanently, but to visit this country has been on my travel list for this lifetime. That Hotel Taj seems really sketchy, so I might stick to the real Taj hotel, if I can afford it.

My co-worker came back from Mumbai, Udaipur, and Goa, just before the terrorist attack. They were a bit shaken because they stayed at the hotels that were attacked. Needless to say, India has left a BIG impression on them!

Hope you're having a great time!

Jen

Ming the Merciless said...

Am loving your documentation of your travel to India. It is definitely a country I would love to visit one day.

Kuanyin Moi said...

Maybe this is why I'm crazy as i've spent so much time in India! :-)

Merry Christmas! Mahalo for your frequent visits, and I apologize for taking so long to get back here! Your posts are always so fascinating!

Susanne49 said...

My daughter came home from a vacation to India and left 4 months later again - to India....she must be crazy, right? I always wanted to see it, but never made it, I'm not crazy enough, I guess... :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family, Gil! Thanks for the virtual friendship this year!

Susanne
Sue's Daily Photography

NoBS said...

Wow! Way to crowded and chaotic for me. It makes me clostrophibic just looking at the pictures! Nice pictures though!

Ted Roth said...

Your photos of India are timed perfectly as I have begun watching Louis Malle's Phantom India. Another place I've never been. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Cutie said...

Well, did you get food poisoning after visiting India. Not a place I would love to visit. It's packed and what more it's dirty as well. DId you exactly find anything interesting there?

Anyway, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May you be travelling more in the coming years... Hehe....

Pernille said...

Lovely photos from India. Hope you will have nice days in Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your love ones!

Cheers,
Pernille:)

Cuckoo said...

Gil,

Welcome to India ! And you have caught the essence. I was wondering how you could eat the food at Karim's. Delhi is my city, if you do not already know. :)

"TRAFIC - The first impression is that the traffic is an absolute nightmare; and it proves even truer with time... " Ha Ha Ha... You guessed it right !!

~vagabond~ said...

yay! you're in India...my favorite place in the world. Loved looking at the photos...looking forward to reading and seeing more. :)

Darn it. Now I'm really craving wholesome, authentic Indian food. Mmmm.

Lakshmi said...

Merry Christmas and welcome to India...Well, there is a method in that madness too and I do hope you got to see beyond the chaos and the mad traffic

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i've always wanted to visit india (mainly mumbai), and even since the problems it experienced recently, i've wanted to go even more
loved the delhi photos
especially the food
merry christmas from crete

! ky said...

wow nice photos. i had a chance to visit Delhi but missed it bcos of my college exams, only my parents went for it.
Lookin at this picx now i really miss that trip.
Thankx
Wish u n ur family Meerry Christmas.
Kven
http://kollywoodmoviereview.blogspot.com/

Lawstude said...

i would definitely keep an eye on your series coz i heard so much about the place.

Merry Christmas too and enjoy this day with your family.

Nikon said...

Wow, Gil, those streets are crowded! I love the atmosphere of the shots, the chilly look to the air and the lack of sun - things look a bit gloomy.
I wonder if that's because of fog, or smog or just the weather that day?
Looks like a great place to visit, though :-)

shooting star said...

hey there!!!
chandni chowk...wow thats an interesting post to start off your series on India...the place is definitely chaotic..but if you become one with the crowd...it becomes a really interesting place...
karim's definitely has been voted the best restaurant year after year...by many food guides here....
i go to chandni chowk quite often..to shop for traditional wear and gorge on street food...it is a food lover's delight....
looking forward to your next post on India....

Shantanu said...

Well, there was indeed a time we felt it was only the crazy foreigners who came to visit India. Of course, more recently there are as many who come here on business as those who continue to come here to experience the exotic or the spiritual.

Great pictures! Karim's won't qualify as the 'best', but will certainly make it to any foodie's itinerary because of its pedigree.

Paz said...

Wonderful photos!

Merry Christmas!

Paz

Mariposa said...

Hope you had a great Christmas! Take care!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Gil

Welcome to India! I'm glad you traveled here! Barring the extremely crowded and filthy streets, extreme temperatures and hard water, I hope you enjoyed Delhi!

Karim's is one of the oldest restaurants in Delhi that serves mughlai cuisine. It is very popular and has been successful in maintaining its quality over the decades.

I stayed in Delhi for three years, from 2005 until the end of 2007!

Wishing you a fun filled holiday season!

Cheers

Rakesh

PS: Oh also, I can relate how it is to be culture shocked while in Delhi!

Tinsie said...

Interesting photos. I've never been to India.

kyh said...

Interesting! India sure is chaotic. If you ever come to Malaysia, you'll get to experience Indian culture too, but not of Delhi, but of Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu! :)

Happy Boxing Day!

april said...

Very interesting photos which seem to show real every day life, not always nice to see, but that's the way it is. (It seems that you have travelled everywhere in the world.)

alok said...

Yes! for sure you will find lots of already crazy people here in India to start with the people from Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Sun and the list is ever so long :)

I am sure you must have explored much more than what the traffic on the roads can offer, looking forward to read more of your experiences in India.

You have a wonderful weekend

Lilli & Nevada said...

Wow, those are some interesting photos, definitely shows poverty, and my goodness the crowds of people is amazing
Looking forward to 2009

Beefybob7 said...

Hi Gil,

I like Indian people, but then I like everyone.

Love the food as long as it's not too HOT!

Bollywood is great fun. Yes the feeling of people enjoying life is great.

Happy New Year,

Bob

Andrea Gerak said...

Hi Gil, thanks for stopping by and for your good wishes! I hope you are having a very nice holiday season.

Interesting photos of India, it's a completely different culture. And not the kind of pictures the travel agencies advertise...

Greetings still from Stockholm for a short while and now I am preparing for my next longer Hungary trip.

RuneE said...

Thank you for the greeting! Interesting to have a tour of India - I have personally only flown OVER it on my way to Singapore. You were obviously not alone in Dehli. It must have been fascinating indeed.

Have a nice week-end and a Happy New Year!

Piika said...

ooh i'm so jealous... i would LOVE to go there!

leo said...

Merry Xmas Gil. Sorry this is late, Ive been away. TQ so much for dropping by. I love Kharouan pics. and India wow you've made it! Enjoy the last week of 08. Here's wishing you a great 2009.

Ashira said...

I'm sorry that I haven't been here for so long - I've missed so much! As usual, these are wonderful photos - it's so easy to get a feeling of the places you've been. I'm not sure that India is my cup of tea - but if I ever venture to New Delhi, I'll be sure to avoid Karim - I'm a vegetarian!

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and travel filled New Year!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Gil, As another commenter said..." you have to become one with the crowd" to enjoy the crowded streets, I am afraid that would not be me. I tried that on my holiday vacation and just could not hack it. Not fond of being, although accidental, punched and pushed. :) As always your photos are incredible and very interesting and allow me to visit places I will never get to see otherwise. Hope you had a Merry, Merry Christmas and I know the New Year of 2009 will bring you more fabulous travels. Good health and many wonderful blessings to you. ~ Cheers, Lynn

Peter said...

Crowded indeed, but I guess that this is part of what you expect and somehow must enjoy!

Looking forward to what will follow ad which parts of India you included in your trip. It can certainly help me as a guide for a hopefully future visit!

Pietro said...

Gil: what an interesting post about India. The town is crowded indeed, your very fine photographs well depict the atmosphere there.
I wish you and your family a Happy New Year!

Leena said...

This post is a start and I am waiting for more peaceful scenes!
It must have been exciting journey, I believe.

I wish you and your family plenty of happiness and many new adventures to a new year, 2009!

alicesg said...

Hi trotter, am so sorry for not visiting lately. Yes, all the outing and partying really make me busy and some of my posts are pre scheduled....lol.

I have put your blog as "followed" so that each time you updated your blog, I could see it in the dashboard.

OMG, it is so crowded in India and just looked at the traffic jam and those electrical cables hanging so dangerously...lol

Thanks for sharing, always learn a lot about other countries in your blog.

Happy New Year to you and your wife and may 2009 be a better year for all of us. :)

Trotter said...

Hi everybody! This first post on India was quite a success, accounting for the comments it got in so few days of such a busy season. I feel that India is going to be a hit on this blog...;)) Thanks for coming through and have a marvellous 2009!

I’m not good on Awards, but I think I owe a special thanks and an Orange award for the commentators who didn’t miss to comment any of my last posts, and for those who only missed them when they were unable to make it... You know you are in the list, so no need to mention names...
I think however that there should be an award for «The most difficult comment to get is from...» and that definitely would go Down Under to the city of Sydney, Australia... Not even in Christmas or New Year you manage to get a comment... With only four million people living there, it’s a piece of cake to know who the winner is... ;-)))

Irina,
Well, it’s a bit bizarre, but this is supposed to be a traveller’s experiences blog... ;)
My pleasure to comment on Moscow Daily Photo, though not so often as I would wish...

Dawning One,
Thanks! The same to you to keep posting texts where one learns so much...

Hélène,
It’s true that people get crazy about so many things in this world. I wonder, without deepen in the theories of David Laing, whether the problem won’t be the definition of craziness... ;))
Bom Ano Novo!

Vamsee,
You’ll see what I found there... ;)

PakKaramu,
Sorry; I thought it was spam, with all the casinos that started pouring on your blog, that I deleted! If that isn’t the case, please try again... ;(

Celine,
Why was it so funny? Ajmal was actually leading the way... ;))

Rhonda,
It was an unforgettable trip! But it’s true that there are lots of people around... ;)

Barb,
McDonalds’ is actually everywhere; even in Old Delhi... ;)

Neva,
Nuts? You’ll see the photos they will bring back from the trip... ;) Anyhow, I wish I can get back before I’m 88... ;))

Ron,
I suspect you may change your mind; we’ll see after the whole series! ;)

Lalilita,
Indian, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Argentinean... whatever: Yummy.......

Namaki,
Mysteries of the mind, some would say... ;))

Joy,
Oh yeah; I adore Indian food! And you’ll see some wonders, not so crazy at all...

Lori,
I think you are right to keep it high on your priorities, even when the circumstances don’t help... It has some wonders worth to be seen and it’s quite an experience to be lived!!

Jen,
I also have friends who stayed at the Taj in Mumbai (not the one pictured in Old Delhi) and they were shocked with the events; actually, who wasn’t? Goa and Mumbai are also in my plans, but it’s so difficult to find some time to be absent for a while! Your friends left with a BIG impression; I wouldn’t expect anything else...

Ming,
OK, after Italy and Portugal, India... ;)

Kuanyin,
Who’s crazy? ;)) I wonder whether we’re getting crazy about it... ;))

Sue,
I’m sure you would be touched by everything you would see there... Ask your daughter... ;))

NoBS,
It’s definitely an experience, but a worthy one, provided you keep it under control... ;)

Ted,
Louis Malle could be a case for Regis Airault, taking into account the circumstances that led him to India in 1968... ;) But I would love to have a look at the documentary; though 378 minutes make me think... You’ll give me your impressions later... ;)

Cutie,
No poisoning, bath every day and quite an experience. As for interesting things, you hardly suspect, but you’ll see here; keep in touch! ;))

Pernille,
Cheers!

Cuckoo,
We should have met last February when we visited your home town!
Why couldn’t I eat the food at Karim’s? It was scrumptious... As for the traffic, I think it deserves a special post!

Vagabond,
I was in India on February 2008; you know, this blog has a «décalage» of almost twelve months delay in posting... ;)) Hope you enjoy the next episodes!

Lakshmi,
I understand there is a method behind; sometimes it’s hard to find, but the experience was striking!

Maria,
I agree with you; should I have the time, I would be packing...

Kven,
It’s a shame that you missed the chance to get there; furthermore with parents, which would certainly be a benefit for your budget... ;) I’m sure you’ll make it anyhow one day!!

Norman,
You’re always welcome!

Paul,
It’s true that you hardly see a blue sky in Delhi due to the pollution... But we were lucky enough to catch some sunny spells while there... You’ll how excellent place it is!!

Shooting Star,
I should have prepared this trip with some more time and should have asked your advice on what to do & see before departure; maybe next time... ;)
You’re right about becoming one with the crowd...

Shantanu,
The idea that only the crazy went there is, like Mark Twain said about the news of his own death, has probably been «greatly exaggerated»... ;))
Karim’s was a great experience and quite a decent meal!

Paz,
Thanks! You’re always too kind!

Mariposa,
You too!

Rakesh,
It was an experience, as you’ll see in my next posts! And the food at Karim’s was delicious! The cultural shock wasn’t only in Delhi, but you’re right... definitely a shock!

Tinsie,
Start packing!! ;)

Kyh,
I’ve been to Malaysia… Where the hell hasn’t gmg been to? ;))

Ingrid,
Everyday life, but there will be some more sophisticated to come... ;)
It’s not such a small world... there are lots of places still to be seen... ;)

Alok,
I can see you’re quite warm-hearted on the technology people in India... ;))
I’ve seen more than the traffic, but must confess that the traffic and everything related to was quite impressive; I may even make a post on that... ;))

Lilli,
There is poverty everywhere in this world; just have a look in NYC... ;)

Bob,
«If it’s not HOT it’s no good»: I understand your motto... ;)) But Bollywood, I must confess I only tried once many years ago and didn’t repeat... ;))

Andrea,
Great to read you back here. I wonder what have you been singing and where... ;) India is special... and different, still... Hope to see something new from Hungary soon!

Rune,
I wasn’t alone in India, as well as in many other places during the last 38 years... ;))
I love Singapore, except for the most awful weather I’ve already experienced in my life, but I tell that India deserves much more than just a flight over on the way to Singapore... ;))

Piika,
It’s great to see you back, even if jealous... ;)

Leo,
Hope you had a nice trip out! Great to read you here, as always!

Ashira,
For someone who loves Europe India might be a bit tough; but you’ll see that there are so many wonderful things there that a rip is surely worth while... And for vegetarians, it might be Paradise on Earth... ;)

Lynn,
Pushed and punched? Provided you get everything under control and the right guides, even the crowded places seem quite serene... ;)

Peter,
It’s definitely an experience. If I would have time to organize, I would love to get back: the rest of Rajasthan – Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer... - and then Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore... ;))

Pietro,
The atmosphere! It’s not an easy task to catch it...

Leena,
Some more peaceful, others more frenzied... we’ll have everything in these India’s posts... ;))

Alice SG,
Thanks for «following» Blogtrotter. You don’t appear has «Follower» on the Blogger device, but it must be working since you were back this morning... ;) Thanks!
The aerial electric cables aren’t probably the best of India’s technology... ;))

Ash said...

Interesting....I'm loving it!!!

Trotter said...

Ash,
Great to see you back. I'm so proud you love it!!

Sigma said...

Hi Gil! First of all, a very happy new year to you. May the new year bring joy cheer and peace in your life.

Thanks for your wishes, even though I have been absent from the blogworld for a long while now. With a full time job and a little baby, blogging has unfortunately gone down on the priority list. Anyways.

I must say when I saw your pics and your captions, I was more than amused. For one, Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest and most crowded areas of Delhi. But from what I hear, it boasts of the most delectable Indian food (never sampled, as I am a hardcore veggie!). But seeing through the comments, I realize that you were able to go beyond the chaos, and enjoy your stay and your experience.
Saw your next post on the Red Fort too. And looking forward to read more about your trip. And hope you did manage to make the most of it!

Trotter said...

Sigma,
So pleased to see you commenting here again!! Feel free to take your time here as you wish...
Glad to see that everything seems to be OK, even with a full time job and a baby to care for!!
As for the trip, I tell you: my first visit to India is something unforgettable...

Dina said...

Hi Gil. I'm going back here to start at the beginning of your India adventure. Wow, you are brave.
I've been away from my desk, down in Australia, caring for two little grandsons. Blogging was almost impossible.
If you ever get a free moment, I would love to hear your opinion of Red Mass, the special prayer service for lawyers and judges they do in Australia, USA, England, and France. I posted about it at http://jerusalemhillsdailyphoto.blogspot.com/2009/02/red-mass.html
Thanks.

Trotter said...

Dina,
Glad to see you back! There is also something similar in Lisbon to mark the inauguration of the new judicial year; but no 17th century adornments... ;))

A Lady's Life said...

Yup this is the India I know full of life, people the good the bad all the smells and tastes.Stories.

Thats what I like.

Trotter said...

Lady,
Very typical, indeed... ;))

vinesh said...

Your blog is very nice... i like your blog ....

Madurai Hotels

Trotter said...

Vinesh,
Thanks, though spam... Don't thik I'll recommend the hotels... ;)