First Impressions

What ho!! The moment I’m writing this is the evening of my second full day in Delhi. I’m sitting in my “living-room”, my tummy is filled with delicious Indian food (chicken tikka roll), and I’m exhausted after a busy day. There is a big smile on my face and I hope it will remain there over night when my stomach starts dealing with the food.

I’m pleased to say that my journey from the UK was pretty eventless and all my flights were on time. After my friend Aaron had driven me to Heathrow (thanks again Aaron!!) I spent the night there on a bench and actually managed to get some sleep. I then took the plane from Heathrow to Paris in the early morning from where I got my connection to Delhi. I landed here in Delhi shortly before midnight and got myself a prepaid taxi to a hotel that the people from Chintan had booked for me in advance. After a good night’s sleep, Brij from Chintan picked me up and took me to the office where I was fed, introduced to everyone and shown my workspace. In the afternoon I was then taken to the estate agent and I was given a room, of which I will put up photos shortly. It consists of a bathroom (with a hot water tank giving me just enough hot water for a 2 minute shower J) a bedroom with a double bed and a living room with a fridge. It is pretty spacious but also rather dirty and old. However, it being within walking distance from the office is what really matters to me… so all I need to do now is figure out the way to get there.

After having slept for around 14 hours last night I woke up in the late morning today. It being a bank holiday (Republic Day) the office was closed and so I had a day to explore the city. I decided to head into the center of New Delhi. I took the metro, which is thanks to the Commonwealth Games extremely user friendly, highly modern, and yet ridiculously cheap. It being my first visit to India I decided to, in proper tourist style, make my way to (and through) the Indian Gate (a.k.a. the War Memorial Arch). Having had a lie in, I missed out on the parade but when I arrived there were still a lot of people in the streets. From the Gate I made my way towards the President Estate. Unfortunately, due to the festivities the road to get closer to it was still closed, so I headed further North towards Central Park and Connaught Place.

As impressive as the mile between the Arch and the President Estate is, as disappointing did I find the inner circle of the Connaught Place. It’s overly touristy (even though some locals were playing badminton in front of the Levis Jeans Store) and just not very nice… I thought it had a rather artificial feeling to it.

Now, I have to say that even though it sounds like I haven’t seen a lot, you need to keep in mind that this place is absolutely massive and places are far apart from each other. I don’t know how many miles I’ve walked today but it must have been a couple. The blisters on my feet (yes I should have walked in my new walking boots more than I did) stand as proof.

I suppose I’m not really giving you any impression about how Delhi feels.  And to be honest it’s very hard to describe, probably mainly due to the fact that Delhi can be divided into a number of cities, which are all different (well at least the few parts I’ve discovered so far). That part of the greater city, which has until now impressed me the most is the part in which I live (Lajpat Nagar IV). Especially at night the place is just magic. Just like when you swim though the sea and hit a warmer or colder current, when you walk through the streets and back streets, you are constantly exposed to different smells and sounds, and you never know what awaits you around the next corner. There are a lot of small shops and street vendors here selling everything (apart from toilet paper L) from traditional silk clothing to modern smart phones. Streets are in a bad condition, the lights don’t always work (my room is in an especially dark corner) and it is very dusty (that includes my bed – thank god I brought my sleeping bag). Nevertheless there are plenty of cars and tuck tucks and the place is is very lively. What pleases me most however is that I don’t seem to stand out as the tall white Westerner that I am who aimlessly wanders around in the hope to find back the street where his room is. I thought I would be hassled more, but I find that most street vendors and auto rickshaw drivers just ignore me. And it is not a touristy place at all, unlike in the center of New Delhi where I was constantly spoken too by people trying to make some money.

Anyway, these are just some of my first impressions as a tourist here in Delhi. Tomorrow I’ll be working with Chintan again. That’s what I’m here for and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll post an update as soon as I can.

Take care,

Sven

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13 Responses to First Impressions

  1. Famille SCHILTZ says:

    Hallo Sven freet eis, dat et dier gudd geet. Elo ass net nemmen mei en vaguen Projet, mais elo bass du metten dran. Mais mat dem neidejen Wellen an denger Energie waerst du des einmallej Experienz och meeschteren. Hun engem Arbechtskolleij dein Blog gewisen, deen extrem impressioneiert waar. Hien soutz viergeschter den ganzen Owend doheem um Wikipedia fier weider Informatiounen iwwer Delhi an iwwer Rag picking ze fannen. Mam Kascht schengst du dech jo schons ugefreet ze hunn. Chicken Tikka. Klengt gudd. Wenschen der dann weiderhinn en interessanten Openthalt a bis geschwenn. Hei Heem alles OK. Decke Kuss.
    Pass gudd op dech op.

    Diane, Jerry, Ben , Bo a Zazou.

    • Profile photo of Sven Schiltz Sven Schiltz says:

      Free mech daat doheem alles an der Rei as. Hat mein Moo schons op der Kopp mais et geet awer lo rem besser ;) Vive den Immodium!!
      DK, an ech probeieren mech der Deeg eng Keier ze mellen.
      Svenson
      xx

  2. Phil Hearing says:

    could you imagine yourself living there for an extended period of time?

    + Can you just not get toilet paper?

    • Profile photo of Sven Schiltz Sven Schiltz says:

      Hello,
      No I didn’t want to live here for too long. But that’s hard to say at the moment to be honest. I could however imagine coming over for a couple of months or a year. But then I’d get a huge bottle of bleach for my bathroom and a hoover to get my room sorted ;)
      I hope you are doing well!!
      Sven
      xx

    • Phil Hearing says:

      I can just imagine you cleaning it :D

  3. Sandrine says:

    Hi Sven, et schéint ganz impressionant ze sin, eng rieseg Stad, ech sin esou frou fir dech dass du dat erliewen kannst, an elo un d’Aarbecht, wenschen daer vill Freed, decke Kuss
    Sandrine

  4. julie says:

    Hi Sven,

    Great to read your first message from Delhi and to hear that the first impressions have been positive. If you have a good feeling at the start in a new place it helps a lot. . Do say hi to them all at Chintan from me, won’t you and warn them that another loopy English/European person is heading out their way soon!
    Can’t wait to hear what your precise jobs are going to be over there, what you’ll be working on so I’ll be following the blog closely!
    Take care and don’t overdo yourself on the chicken tikka rolls – looking forward to all that stuff again when I go over!
    Hugs
    Julie

    • Profile photo of Sven Schiltz Sven Schiltz says:

      Hello Julie,
      Thanks for the message. I’ll say hi and warn them about you ;) I think you’ll love it here whenever you come. Chintan seems to be really well organised and from what II can say so far is that the work which they do is absolutely amazing. See the future posts ;)
      Hugs back,
      Sven
      xx

  5. Tammy says:

    Hi Sven! I can’t believe you are over there! It’s like another world! It must be such a great experience. Glad it’s all going so well for you. I like the badminton bit, but not the toilet paper problem :-) I wish you a great time over there and lots of luck with the work you’re starting! Take care! Tammy xx

  6. Wendy says:

    Amazing to think that you are there – reading the blog it feels like we are walking around with you, seeing it all through your eyes – looking forward to the next installment!

    Take care

    Wendy
    x

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