As I briefly mentioned in my last postings, we have discovered couchsurfing, which is an Internet site much like a dating site but it puts you in touch with people with a couch you can crash on for a night or two all over the world.
After an average first experience in Europe, Carrie and I gave it another go on our first night in Delhi and arranged to crash on Amit Ghandi’s couch. This turned out to be the best decision ever, as we wound up spending the next four nights making a great new friend and seeing a side of Delhi that we never would have staying in a hostel.
It all began on Christmas Eve day, when we arrived in Amit’s beautiful house in south Delhi He took us to, as he called it, the best place in the city to see the sunset. Next he took us to a delicious outdoor grill by his house for our first taste of authentic Indian food…and authentic Indian spice.
Upon returning to his house, he and his friend Shago decided to throw us a little Christmas Eve party. We began by decorating his money tree with homemade ornaments (paper and crayons all the way) and, by the time the party ended at 4am, more than 25 people had come through the door to party.
On Christmas day itself, after sleeping off our jetlag, we had a traditional Indian breakfast (I still have no idea what anything is called…we just point and say, “meat or vegetable”). Later, we went to a park, visited a Sufi temple (The Dargah of Sufi Hazrat Nizamuddin), drove around, saw the India Gate and PM’s palace lit up at night, had a gourmet Indian dinner and, exhausted after a full day, went to bed early.
The next few days were spent getting to know Delhi as Amit drove us to the Red Fort, Jama Masid Mosque, Humayun’s Tomb, Old Delhi and more…all the while showing us more delicious food and introducing us to Lassies, which are traditional yogurt drinks.
On our final night in Delhi, Amit’s cousin took a bunch of us to his house in the middle of a gated community where a bunch of us hung out, sipped beers, danced and talked under the stars on a beautiful grassy front lawn gated in from the dusty roads and fields around us. All in all, we could not have asked for a better way to start our trip.
A million thanks to Amit, Shago, Quincy and everyone else who gave us memories for a lifetime.