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I’ve had a change in my plans. I got to Delhi on Tuesday night, spent half of Wednesday touring various landmarks, and the other half of Wednesday figuring out how to GTFO.

I’m sure Delhi is an amazing place, with a rich and varied history, but I couldn’t manage it. I had just spent two weeks in hot and muggy climates and couldn’t handle a third (and fourth week) in more of the same. As is implied by the previous statement, I am also skipping Amman, Jordan and possibly Casablanca, Morocco as well.

I hate that I felt the need to leave a place early. I don’t like that I didn’t have the fortitude to stick it out. But this is a vacation, and if I’m not enjoying myself and don’t see that changing where I am, then it’s best to change the variable I can control.

I would possibly like to return some day, but it won’t be on this trip. In addition to the weather, the city that I saw was dirty, dilapidated, and filled with poverty that I’m not accustomed to seeing. The place I was staying at was nice, inside, but outside was more of the dirt. Unpaved or barely paved roads, dogs running wild, constant honking of car horns… The last straw really hit when I went to use the private bathroom I was given and there was no TP. And as it was midnight, I wasn’t inclined to wake up my host.

Driving (or being a passenger or a pedestrian) in Delhi is a harrowing experience. The traffic rules seem to be more like suggestions, rules that someone long ago once heard of, but have been long since forgotten. The only real rules I could figure out were:

1) Stop for red lights.
2) The law of gross tonnage. Pedestrians yield to bicycles, which yield to motorcycles, which yield to autorickshaws, which yield to cars, which yield to buses, which yield to elephants. Seriously, elephants on the highway. I thought I was hallucinating.

I had a hard time finding food to eat. I don’t know enough about Indian food to know what I like, or what would be safe. I heard repeated warnings from friends of avoiding the water, avoiding ice cubes… How could I know if the food was or was not prepared in a way that would be safe for a foreigner to eat?

I was very uncomfortable with the looks people would give me. Some would gawk, some would just stare… I know I’m an unusual sight, but is a little tact too mush to ask?

I was fortunate yesterday. I walked to a tomb near the place I was staying and found a cab driver who was happy to be my personal tour guide for the day for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, the heat had drained me so completely that I wasn’t able to see everything he wanted me to see and I would have liked to see more. Ah well.

I am now en route to Copenhagen, Denmark. Where my surname lineage comes from, where the weather is much more pleasant, and where I might blend in with locals for the first time in two and a half weeks. I’ve gotten some suggestions from friends who’ve been there before on what to do and where to go already.

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