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Life in Delhi, blog about India

In today's post I wanted to present the most important aspects of life in the capital of India - Delhi. 

Personally, I'd lived there for almost 3 years, and currently it is the city that I often arrive in for both professional but also private reasons after moving to a place much calmer, that is the state of Goa. Link to the pros and cons of life in Goa here

1. Cultural diversity and a lesson of tolerance which broaden your horizons

Living in such a cosmopolitan and densely populated city (20 million people) as Delhi, you can certainly meet people from various countries, but also of many faiths and cultures; in a city with a huge density of people you must learn to be tolerant, patient  and understanding even if many things seem to us to be bizarre and illogical. Attempts to change the world are not a good approach and usually end in failure.  If we want to win people's favour and understand the functioning of this huge agglomeration, we must begin to function similarly and get rid of the European context. We must put on the shelve the European way of perceiving reality, i.e. get used to the chaos in the streets, constant noise of horns, stray animals in the streets,  lack of any road regulations, different climate, and cultural and religious diversity. In Delhi, apart from Hindus, there live Muslims, Christian, Sikhs, Jains, Tibetan refugees, as well as countless other beliefes and sects. Living in such a huge city will certainly teach you tolerance, broaden your horizons and let you go beyond the framework of European culture. By meeting people of different cultures and from many environments, visiting numerous places of worship, you will learn and broaden your knowledge of world religions and begin to look at the world globally taking into account many points of views.

In addition, you will learn how to cook in the Indian style and learn a lot about the secrets of Indian cuisine and maybe you will go on a vegetarian diet.

Living in Delhi will make you move in a huge agglomeration using a variety of means of transport from tuk tuk, taxi to the Delhi metro. Traveling around the city you will enter into a lot of interaction with people, meet many interesting people, and learn to eliminate  those who do not necessarily have good intentions.

2.Some facts about Delhi that are extremely strange for Europeans and things which you must get used to

1. I was almost thrown out from my rented flat for frying eggs:)The landlady could smell it  and made a row about it. Hindus don't eat eggs, meat! At the time I'd thought that only meat ... :) And the most important question before signing the lease contract  was whether I am vegetarian? I answered that I was because in my country eating eggs on the veg diet is OK. Unfortunately, not  for some people in India....
2. Horn noise is the norm! and serves in India as an informant in the style " I'm on the road'. If you want to drive in India, you must follow their advice regarding driving; there are 3 things you need to have to drive in India: it is a horn, a good break and good luck. There are no road signs and total chaos but the drivers drive quite slowly and carefully and there are no accidents easily noticeable. 

3. In many places we will be ripped off only because fair skin color which for many Indian people means unlimited resources of money. So we have to learn to haggle and it is necessary to do reconnaissance in prices. Personally, I liked to go to shopping malls, where prices were  fixed.
4. Lack of  pavement in some places can be an obstacle. Also, walking in Delhi is associated with being rather poor. If you want to go for a walk, you had better go to the park, if you want to move on chaotic streets on foot, tuk tuk drivers will offer you drop off lots of times, which can be irritating. Fortunately, there are plenty of parks where you can take a stroll and the centre of New Delhi Connaught place.

6. Lots of apartments, hotels without windows.

Many flats and hotel rooms in Delhi are windowless, with very small windows or windows overlooking the staircase. Darkness prevails in them and depression lurks. :) The inhabitants of India are accustomed to this type of buildings and they see nothing wrong about such a home design. There are, of course, flats with windows, but you have to look a little bit harder and usually pay a bit more for renting. Hence, when you are shown flats in Delhi by an estate agent you must be prepared for a long search. A furnished flat in Delhi means an old bed and a fan or one poor sofa. The pictures in the adverts don't correspond with the truth. 
7. Late supper. Most people eat the most important meal in the late evening. Breakfast is a light meal, lunch is quite rich and dinner is very rich. You will also have to get used eating meals using your right hand and very often sitting not at the table.

8. Lack of toilet paper. In India, many toilets are still squatting  down ones and instead of paper there is either a small bucket or a spray hose. Of course, you can buy toilet paper in stores and pharmacies, but  even their way is more hygienic if you look deeper in this issue.

9. Alcohol is available only in wine and beer shops open until 22.00. Alcohol is also expensive, prices of wines are the most expensive as well as imported alcohol. Sometimes, it is forbidden to buy alcohol during the elections or on some specific days.

10. Clubbing in Delhi is  quite expensive and reserved for elite or well off people.  You have to get used to big expenses if you want to have fun in the clubs and bars of Delhi. 
12. We also need to get used to the distance, because everything in Delhi is a few kilometres away, which means getting stuck in traffic jams and a huge waste of time. Sometimes the best option is to use the Delhi metro.

13. The climate in Delhi is very tricky, winters are quite cold and temperatures drop down at night to 0, summers are boiling hot with temperatures above 45 degrees. There is also a monsoon season with still high temperature and humidity. In India, there is no central heating, so in the winter evening and night temperatures can be sometimes freezing. You can use  an electric heater or buy air conditioning with the option of heating.
14. Air pollution.This is the main reason why I moved out from this fascinating city. Many people suffer from this for various respiratory diseases, and there are periods of smog when they cancel flights, close down schools and the whole city is a gas chamber

3. Luckily, there are plenty super exciting things in Delhi that make you want to stay here. Those are:

1. Countless UNESCO monuments and parks

Despite the fact that the city of Delhi is a cluster of huge masses of people there is also a place for greenery. In such a large city we have about 25 parks. In addition to parks, there are of course countless  interesting monuments, temples and tombs, mosques, forts like: Humayun tomb, Qutub Minar, Lotus temple, Akshardaham temple, India Gate and many others.

3. Food
Food in Delhi is a paradise for cuisine lovers. There are plenty of Indian restaurants and food outlets with delicious food, but Delhi is also famous for street food. The information about the Indian cuisine in the link:

4. Shopping
Delhi is also a paradise for people who love shopping. You can buy everything from designer clothes, Indian clothes, antiques, colonial furniture, Ayurvedic cosmetics etc. The most famous markets are: Delhi Haat,Janpath Market, Paharganj Bazaar, Palika Bazaar, Karol Bagh Market, Sarojini Nagar Market, Lajpat Rai Market.

5. Festivals in Delhi
Apart from really spectacular parade on Republic Day on the 26th January, there are plenty festivals organised annually such as the ones in the list below in 2020:
( Due to coronavirus most of them haven't taken place) 

  • The Grub Fest – 1st-3rd Nov 2020
  • NASVI Street Food Festival – 25-29 Dec 2019
  • Asian Hawkers Market – Nov 2020
  • Great Indian Food Festival – Jan 2020
  • The Palate Fest – Feb/Nov 2020
  • London Market – 1st April 2020
  • Wedding Asia – 22nd-25th Nov 2020
  • Dastkar Nature Bazaar – TBA
  • Dastkar Asia Bazaar – Nov 2020
  • The Fairytale’ss – 28th April 2020
  • New Delhi World Book Fair – Nov 2020
  • The Delhi Flower Show – Feb 2020
  • Qutub Festival – Nov 2020
  • Comic Con Delhi – Yet to be announced
  • Delhi International Jazz Festival – Sep 2020
  • Kite Flying Festival – Jan 2020
  • International Mango Festival – July 2020
  • Lil Flea Delhi Edition – Feb 2020
  • Horn-Ok-Please Street Food Festival – Nov 2020
As you see life in Delhi isn't so easy, but despite the all inconvenience, it is really worth living here at least for some time to gain amazing experience of life in such a large city and broaden your horizons. If you prepare yourself beforehand and find a nice flat with windows:) to start your adventure with Delhi, or maybe you have some trusted friends here, who can be your perfect local guides, life in Delhi should be a really interesting experience. 


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