Delhi

I didn’t think I was going to be trying any extreme sports at least until we arrived in New Zealand but then I hadn’t foreseen the madness that is the traffic in Delhi.

We are staying in Pahargani which the Lonely Planet describes as bursting with budget accommodation, shops and human traffic. I reckon that’s a fairly good description and there seems to be lots of backpackers around.

The first thing that we noticed of course was the weather, it is lovely and warm not too hot or humid with a gentle breeze. The noise here is unreal- people shouting, constant banging, Hindustani music, children chattering and car horns blasting non stop.
Everywhere smells, some smells are good like frying samosas on the sides of the streets and burning incense sticks, other smells remind me of Glastonbury toilets so strong they make your eyes bleed absolutely horrible and Maisie grabs my hand and rushes us past!

We arrive at our 3 star hotel which would be lucky to scrape half a star in the UK but surprisingly for me I don’t even bat an eyelid when |Simon tells me the toilet seat isn’t actually attached to anything.

I do feel very anxious about the potential risk of malaria though and conscious that we haven’t taken our tablets today, we head off to find an ATM so we can buy some water and take our tablets.

Six o’clock and we are back at the hotel, the kids are completely exhausted, I feel pleased that we have managed to negotiate our way around successfully without getting lost and have eaten some vegetarian curry, a couple of chapattis and some spicy vegetable rice for less than three quid. Ali is a star and clears his plate and for the millionth time I thank god that he will give anything a go. (Apart from mushrooms of course)

We get our children into bed and I think about the little children that have grabbed my hand today and asked me for money. Filthy dirty little kids only 3 or 4 years old, dressed in raggedy clothes with nothing on their feet.
Maisie looks at me and I don’t say anything as I gently pull her away from a little toddler only a bit older than her beloved cousin Josh what can I say to her? Whatever – it would seem completely inadequate and I know from the look on her face that although she is only ten she shares my mixed feelings of compassion and guilt.
I always used to say I wanted Alister and Maisie to know there is more to life than Disneyland and I guess tonight for them its true and they get my point.