Monday, September 10, 2012

Long, strange trip it's been

3/9-11/2012 Delhi/Hotel Malik

On our last day in Haridwar, we checked out of the Grand Basant and had hired a car and driver back to Delhi. Traffic was heavy and it took over 8 hours although our driver stopped at lovely fast-food roadside restaurant with international cuisine and English menus. Rachael had French fries with her entrée. Quel surprise!
 I had booked a hotel in Delhi near the airport on hotwire. It was only a three star, but it was better than the Grand Basant, and the room service had meat dishes, and their cheese sandwiches were especially good after our week-long diet of mainly egg rolls, fries, and cookies. The hotel Malik looks rather decrepit from the outside, but the interior was spotless, the staff obsequious and attentive, and they had amazing retro purple chandeliers and beaded light fixtures (Highly recommended - The shower curtain (the first one we’d encountered on our travels) was purple, and once again there were moth balls in the sink which this time I removed and put in a bag in a drawer in the closet. That night I awoke to a terrible smell – it was the water! The smell is so awful that only the smell of mothballs can cover it up. The hotel supplied us with pitchers of filtered water which had no smell at all. I dutifully put the moth balls back, and kept the bathroom door closed as much as possible.
The second day we went shopping in the neighborhood and found an Indian version of a K-Mart and bought ready-to-make Sari fabric kits for under $10. I also bought a lovely and silly flashing red, white, and blue “om” sign for about $2. I had to go back to buy another one for Rachael. We had chicken with mushroom soup one night and lamb with onion and spinach on our last night there. On 3/11, we returned to SFO just in time for Bouquets to Art week at the DeYoung museum in SF, and I commenced packing in earnest for my move to Antioch, CA.

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