Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Delhi

My visit to India has been incredible, and more than I can cover in one post. As an India newbie, I had all sorts of mental pictures of what India would be like. Of course, since I am only visiting New Delhi and Mumbai, I haven't seen the rural side of India which is the largest aspect.

New Delhi is full of tree-lined boulevards. From something I had read, I had an image of people sleeping on every available square inch of space. There are people who appear to be homeless, but that occurs in Palo Alto, too. Like Palo Alto, they tend to be in downtown areas and not so much around much of the city that I toured. Talking to people, it seems that most of the slums are in outlying areas. And, there are cows hanging out on the median strips of boulevards and wandering around, seeming perfectly at home in the urban setting.

Of course, the traffic makes a big impression. Delhi's roads are full of cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, bicycle rickshaws, people and these three wheeled little taxis called autorickshaws.

Three wheeled autorickshaw

Everybody jostles for space in the road. I didn't see a single collision, amazingly enough. People cross everywhere with vehicles zooming around, actually threading their way through many lanes of traffic. It is amazing, and I'm sure dangerous. I have a hard time imagining how blind people would get around. I saw one visually impaired fellow just trying to make it across one lane of traffic with his hand in the air, just hoping for the good will of the crazy drivers (who seem to have an excellent sense for avoiding hitting things as well as people).

The Indians I talked to noted that New Delhi is the capital and has many government, business and military people. It definitely comes across as a confident and growing consumer society.

More in future posts on my meetings in Delhi and then it's on to Mumbai!

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