India – day eighteen

Monday April 3rd We woke at 6am & we watched the scenery as it passed by. Many people were already out in the fields harvesting the wheat by hand – not a machine in sight. We passed through many poor villages with straw roofed huts built of cow dung; probably just one room. There were many piles of cow pats drying in the sun. We saw many ox drawn carts along the earthen tracks whilst a lot of people were walking on the rail tracks. We had breakfast on the train – omelette with 2 pieces of bread & butter with a cup of tea. Total bill for both of us was 90 rupees (about £1.11)

We arrived in Delhi 2 hours late – around 9am. We´d been to Delhi before so didn´t have any sightseeing planned for this trip. It was just an overnight stop en route. Delhi is the capital of India as well as its third largest city. The population grew to accommodate those displaced by the Partition of India in 1947 when the Punjab became part of Pakistan. The Punjabs have prospered in the capital & now dominate the city´s commercial life. It´s a city populated largely by migrants. The city has been the gateway for many invasions so is now a mixture of seven previous cities, the oldest dating from around 1200 BC.

So we went straight to the Maidens Hotel in Delhi. The room we had was very big – bigger than our living area in our house!! We went into breakfast at the Maidens which was served until 11am. We both fancied a croissant & coffee. Then we chilled out in the room. Paul was very tired after the train journey & so he did sleep. I relaxed & read. Late afternoon we went to the cafeteria for something to eat. I had cabonara & Paul had lasagna. We decided to have a bottle of wine. The waiter said that it was ´happy hour` in the bar so the wine came under that offer. We ended up wishing id didn´t. He then went on to explain that a bottle contained 5 glasses – anyone knows that a standard bottle contains 6 standard glasses. So he said he´d give us the bottle plus an extra glass of wine so then he´d half the price. He didn´t seem to understand that we didn´t want a bottle plus an extra glass of wine. Nor could he grasp the concept that if it were ´happy hour` then just half the cost of the bottle. Anyway he gave us a bottle & the extra glass! I point out that not all of it was drunk.

About an hour or so later Paul fell ill. He had a fever, feeling dizzy & sick. I went to reception & asked them to call a doctor. The doctor was with us within 15 minutes. He did give Paul a thorough check up. He had low blood pressure & his temperature was high. The end result was that the doctor said Paul had food poisoning. The last thing he´d had to eat was the lasagna in the hotel. Good advert for the food? He gave Paul 3 different kinds of tablets to take that evening & through the next couple of days. The doctor’s visit cost 2,700 rupees (around £33.33). Paul started to feel better awhile later, thankfully. He did have a good nights sleep.

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