Visiting one of the most colorful, historical, and frenzied cities in the world is an exciting experience especially if it is the first time you are getting the Indian immigration stamp in your passport at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Just like all Indian metropolises, the sight of the wave of people with the accompanying sights, smells, and noise is an intimidating emotion especially if you come from a relatively developed country.
Put aside your fears of insecurity and trepidation. Getting used to New Delhi is a mind-blowing fun experience that you will never forget. Give it some time and soon you will feel comfortable and at home mingling with the locals while exploring the many lively and bustling streets that never sleeps. Here are some tips to get you any feelings of trepidation and will help you adjust easily on your very first visit to New Delhi.
The food in New Delhi is a whole new gastronomic experience. The arrays of colorfully, laden exotic street food looks tempting beyond words. However, the keys to moderation apply here. It is advisable to start off on a slow testing phase before trying out further. Most foreigners or rather their guts, more specifically, have experienced the side-effects of what is notoriously known as the ‘Delhi Belly’. So, a word of caution, although temptation abounds in the air and you find it a challenge in not trying a morsel of that so tasty looking chole batureo or poori aloo, images of scrunched up on your bed shouting ‘Why did I eat it?’ will bring the caution back into your senses. “Delhi Belly’ is an experience afflicting those who are new to spicy food cooked the Delhi way, adhering to different standards of hygiene. But do not worry, as once you are used to the food, you just cannot wait to try a new temptation each day.
Similarly, do not drink the tap water and make sure you wash your hands frequently as you would not know what you touched. Take extra precaution in rinsing serving trays by yourself.
Be prepared to bargain as prices are not fixed. Vendors know you have the money to spend and likewise will increase the price based on the brand of your shoes and clothing. Always act nonchalant and start off by stating a price that is half that of the quoted price. If the price you want is ignored, then walk away, as most times if it is a reasonable bargain, they will call you back.
There is rampant poverty all around and you will be constantly approached for money by beggars of all sizes and shapes, young and old, male and female. Although you can be drawn into their wailings of poverty and cries for help, a word of caution. It may seem heartless but the best word of advice is to ignore and walk away immediately. If you feel tempted to give one beggar, it can turn out to be disastrous as the very next second, you will be swarmed with a big crowd of beggars. These people can turn violent if not given anything. To avoid such a scene, being indifferent and walking away is the best advice.
There are various modes for traveling around New Delhi of which the most economical and fastest is the autorickshaw. Traffic is congested and these autorickshaws are experienced in maneuvering their way around the traffic. Heart-stopping moments abound but take it with a dose of fun.
These are some of the tips one has to be careful when visiting New Delhi for the first time. As long as you are aware of these things, that is food, traveling around, beggars and the power of bargaining, it will be an exciting adventure.