In 2014 I decided to take an adventure and find an internship in an other country. Eventually I got a job offer in Noida, India, which is pretty close to Delhi. Well, you need to know that I was a 22 years old girl with white skin, greyish eyes, so I definitely have a different appearance than people in India. We hear so many bad news about rapes in India, where more men rape a foreigner tourist and cause her a lot of bad moments. Not only during that time, but even afterwards. Therefore my parents and relatives weren’t happy about my 4 months long trip to the capital of India.
However, as a Commerce and Marketing graduate I can say media is for telling bad things only, and they usually don’t highlight the advantages. Unfortunately India is in the same situation. As people listen to more news than documentaries, they consider India an unsafe country. I don’t need to tell you, if you’re not careful enough, as a girl, then you probably will be in danger in some places in India… but… anywhere else in this world. The key point is to dress according to their culture and don’t go out alone in the evening. During those 4 months I had no bad incidents with anyone.
While many people wouldn’t even go to India, I’m so excited to go there back! I hope those people will read my article and they will change their opinion and will visit this wonderful city and country. Why do I want to go back there, to Delhi? Because of…
Basically I’m totally a food person. After traveling to some countries I turned to check the foods firstly before the sights. Honestly I don’t really suggest any Western people to try eating on the streets immediately, as in some cases there are some ingredients which are not really accepted by our stomach. You don’t need to be afraid of fruits or vegetables, as far you wash them, I would say with mineral water (the tap water is not drinkable). There is a very nice restaurant nearby the Jama Masjid, its name is Karim’s. The food is amazing, and there are many foreigners eating there without any problems, so I consider them pretty reliable. My favourite foods in India were:
- Shahi Paneer – it’s a vegetarian dish made with cottage cheese, tomato gravy with some spices. It can be a little hot.
- Butter Chicken – it’s made with tomatoes, onions and butter, combined with some
spices. It can be very spicy, so make sure to inform the staff to make it less spicy.
- Samosa – it’s a fried starter with some spicy fillings (potato, onion, pea, etc.) , served with mostly green chilli sauce. You can find vegetarian and non-vegetarian ones. I love meat, butat samosa I prefer eating the vegetarian. Indians make it very spicy, so ask them not to make it that spicy, if you cannot stand it.
- Chicken momo – actually it’s a Chinese food, you can find many places which sells this. It’s a snack, a dumpling filled with minced chicken. They usually serve with some sauces (spicy, sweet, you can choose). Although I suggested to avoid eating on streets, chicken momos can be found mainly there. You can try to check the surroundings, if it’s too dirty, or the cook’s hand is too dirty, I wouldn’t try to buy it from there. There can be problems with the sauces.
These are my favourites only, but there are a lot of different dishes what Delhi can offer.
Delhi has several attractions, like Humayun’s Tomb, the Red Fort, Raj Ghat (it’s a memorial for Mahatma Gandhi), Lotus Temple, Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar, India Gate (you can feel being in Paris, hahaha), Akshardham Temple, the Parliament, and some other places you can find here. Like in many other Asian countries you can find the tourist prices in India as well, but they won’t hurt your wallet. There are some places to visit for free, like the India Gate, the Lotus Temple and Akshardham. I suggest you to use public transportation, as the distances can be very big in Delhi. For instance, you can see the India Gate from the Parliament, and it doesn’t really seem too far, but is! According to my friend she reached it with a hour walk. Use metro or the „tuk-tuk”. Make sure to ask for the price before you hop in and bargain! The drivers usually tell the double price for tourists. If you see more drivers, you are in a better position: if one of them don’t want to accept your price, just leave him! He will immediately accept your price.
Sadly Delhi has a lot of underpriviledged people, who stay on the streets in little tents. However, their mentality is totally different than the poor people in Western countries. They show only happiness, and you can find smile their face. If you’re there, please help them with giving some food or drink, they are very grateful for these kind of acts.
When you’re visiting a site, expect other people coming to you and ask for a photo. It sounds weird, I know, but if you say yes, you can make them very happy. If you have time, you can stop to talk with them, tell them where you are from, what you are doing in India, and what you like the most. Maybe you can have your own Indian family, like I had at Lotus Temple!