We start our first day of Intrepid’s ‘Classic Rajasthan’ trip by heading to the metro, walking along the side of the road from our hotel (nobody ever seems to walk on the pavement in Delhi) past cows munching on litter strewn across the landscape. The metro in contrast to the local neighbourhood appears to be modern, clean and relatively well organised. There’s a security check….. ladies to the right and men to the left, a swift body sweep and all bags trundle through the prehistoric x ray machine. This seems to happen a lot in India….. not only at airports, but also museums (even at the Gandhi museum) , monuments, mosques, temples and shopping centres. I can’t help but wonder how efficient these machines are, but also that there seem to be many more personnel needed for the task than perhaps is required! However I did see a book being confiscated at the Taj Mahal. Were the guards suspicious of it as a possible weapon or did they simply not approve of its content. We here of a grenade attack in a prayer hall in Amritsar and I think again about what I might have considered to be an overcautious approach to security in this country.
As we walk and pick up the taxis and rickshaws which help us to move across the streets of Delhi on our trip, there is chaos everywhere. Horns honk and vehicles weave across lanes which merge from 2 to 5 with no clear demarcations. Cars, people, motorbikes, cows and stray dogs intertwine in what appears to be a well rehearsed dance. There are no accidents, no raised fists or rude signs, just a toot and a friendly smile and everyone seems to end up where they want to be. Maybe after all this chaos is a bit more ordered than it first seems!