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Dirt

Well, the weather here in India is quite pleasant.

It generally starts of pretty cool in the mornings, but later in the day it can get quite warm – on a par with your typical British summer day. And it’s winter.

The problem is the pollution. The air is full of dust, and breathing through your mouth will quickly leave your tongue with a coating of dirt. For the first few days I was here, the sky was a pale dun colour; the wind’s picked up a bit lately so the sky is much more blue now.

The smell is also challenging.

The area my hotel is in is Pahar Ganj – this contains the Main Bazaar, as well as various budget hotels. The Main Bazaar is pretty disgusting. There’s probably concrete under there somewhere, but it’s like a dirt track running between rows of run-down shops and stalls. Very third world, actually. There are plenty of sad, mangy dogs, a smattering of beggars and the occasional cow. And it smells of dirt, refuse, bodily waste, incense, dust, cigarette smoke, food, burning paper, wood, rubber.

The place is kind of disgusting in a good way. By which I mean, it’s interesting to walk through it a few times, but not too often. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing, as the bazaar is directly between the hotel and … almost anywhere I might want to walk to.

In the last couple of days the back of my throat has been stinging a bit when I’ve been walking and I get a faint rattle in my chest. I really ought to get out of Delhi – and any other big city in India.

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