India 2018 Day 2, 6th December

I am feeling odd, out of place. I have not been away from home for 10 years, other than 30 days in hospital. I don't feel as if I know what I am doing. I have just about recovered from the flight. There are so many pockets in my bags I keep thinking I have lost things. I planned so well for air flight carrying I did not give enough thought to leaving stuff locked up in a bag in the hotel room. My travel back takes all the clothes but not the tech I don't need with me like cables and chargers. More dongles and cables than I thought.

Breakfast and an interesting discussion with Noy, born in Watford, but now living in Israel. He is travelling before conscription to the armed forces.

My first task on the day was to post on the gifts to Ravi and family. This is 6kg of dead weight to carry place to place. The staff at the  Himalayan Hostel and B&B were very helpful. I got taken through the bazaar to a shop with a choice of boxes and packing material. Expertly packed and taped up for 250 rupees. Get to post it seemed harder to find. The first place, DPS was for international only. The place suggested by a man outside the Vivek Hotel turned out to be opposite where I am staying.

The distances are not great, but like Oxford Street you have to push by the crowds of people. Taking a rickshaw saves the hassle, Costs are as low as 20 rupees, more typically 100 rupees is expected. The issue I am having is not having enough small notes. No one has change!

This little excursion took over an hour. The assistance to be added to my bill.

Digital copies of books is a good idea. My tablet is lighter than the "Lonely Planet Guide to India". The 10th edition I have as a pdf works well but is very much out of date. The 14th edition has pages out of order and the search fails to get to the right page. So I downloaded the November 2017 version. The wi-fi has been excellent on getting emails and Facebook but  kept loosing connection. The download page gives a limited number of retries.

I decided to venture out to Connaught Place. Going through the bazaar with all the tiny shops and their goods extending into the street there is so much more available than I see in England. Maybe for the odd ball stuff, like the cable I had to get from Amazon it is the same problem. I was offered cables, chargers and power banks as well as the traditional things.

Central Park, the flag of India

Looks like people waitng for a light and sound show.

In contrast to the baraar these shops have a modern appearance.

I did venture into some of the shops. Set up for tourists with carpets, textiles and idols in metal, marble, jade and wood. I am very tempted but already have two beautiful carpets with no space to put them since moving out of Milton in 2006. The shop interiors are a break from the traffic noise.

I got back to Paharganj but walked around in circles not being able to work out the numbering on the shops to find the hotel. As the hotel is off from the main road it has no front visible and now after 6pm it is dark lit by the shops. When in need I couldn't get a a rickshaw. Eventually i got a driver who did find it, but after he had to ask several other drivers. Shortly after I arrived I thought I was near the hotel and spotted a shop selling sim cards. I got a sim and was told to come back at 21:00 for activation. I got the sim, but no receipt and now can't find the shop having walked around lost. One of the other tourists also got a sim, but was given simple instructions on how to activate it. He paid only 400 rupees, so my 850 rupees seems a lot, but I think that included the top up for which I have to return to the place I bought it. I need the 3 months one time payment for my 60 days. Ravi had told me what to get, but I didn't remember the advise at that moment. Stupid mistakes to make and as I said I am feeling odd and out of place.

My legs are not being kind. The walking makes them swollen which reduces with the medication I take in the evening. That then causes sleep interruption several times during the night. As the consultant advised me at Hitchingbrooke hospital - learn to live with the limitations of what I can do. When I do sleep it has been deep and solid. My breathing has been okay. You can taste the flumes in the air and many people cover their mouths with a handkerchief. My coughing has reduced in spite of the pollution. It certainly is more badly affected by the cold.

There is also another reason for my visit, In 1989 I reduced my weight to 73kg. I did pack it back in two years to 8kg. Whether it was the walking or being away from a well stocked kitchen but my weight has spiralled up ever since and the periods of weight loss I never really understood, this trip might give me a better understanding if my weight does go down.

 Last updated 7th December 2018