Today I’m starting a new series which I’ve been thinking about for some time now. Over the years I’ve done a lot of travelling and I feel that I have a different perspective on many things based on some of the places I’ve visited. It occurred to me recently that not everyone has had this opportunity. By discussing some of my observations of different places around the world, I hope it helps others to see the world through different eyes.
I love photography, particularly while travelling. All photos on this post are mine.
First up: Old Delhi, India
The walled city of Delhi was founded in 1639. It was once filled with the mansions of nobles and members of the royal court, elegant mosques and gardens. Today it is extremely crowded and dilapidated, but it is a lively neighbourhood and serves as the heart of this huge city of more than 12 million people.
It is possible to travel by bus in Delhi, but it is often more convenient to travel by rickshaw or on foot. Bicycle rickshaws are common in the market streets of Old Delhi both for passengers and for goods travelling to market.
The new Tata Nano, the worlds cheapest car, is set to revolutionise how people in India travel. I can’t even imagine what road congestion is going to be like once more middle-class Indian families start driving their own cars.
Donkeys, mules and horses are also common in the market streets. They are able to carry heavier loads and are more easily manoeuvred through crowded areas than other types of transportation. Of course, you have to watch where you are stepping while out shopping.
A short detour away from the main streets will find you amongst the everyday activities of the locals. Children having haircuts, women selling spices, men cooking paratha, a delicious fried Indian bread and dogs loitering in any spot where they won’t get stepped on.
Despite the dilapidated surroundings, all the produce sold at the street markets looked freshly harvested and nutritious. The sheer array of different herbs and spices available throughout India is something I’ve never seen anywhere else in the world. People still use spices to flavour their meals rather than relying on tubes of processed goop.
Most Indians are vegetarian and I chose to follow that same path while I was there. I fell in love with Paneer Tikka Masala, ate it wherever it was available and crave the taste to this day. When meat is available it is usually mutton or chicken. Cows are considered holy creatures and it is therefore illegal to kill them. Pork is considered unclean and only for the lower castes.
Old Delhi was an explosion of colour, sounds and smells; an assault on the senses after a long flight from Australia and harrowing taxi ride from the airport. But the streets were so alive with activity and the people so friendly and happy to be going about their business.
Check out more photos from my travels
note: All Where in the World narratives are based on my observations of the location, during a trip which may be many years in the past. I apologise if any facts are wrong, as I am not an expert historian or anthropologist.