Delhi Diary-On the road II


Back on the road. Back on the dusty roads. For long hours merely a face is to be seen, here a farmer who is out on the fields and here and then a woman, who carries her heavy load. The Aravalli mountains I think while driving and driving are so similar to the hills and mountains in Jordan, which I know so much better. But maybe these two landscapes are not similar at all, maybe it is just the past that travels with us,wherever we go. Finally I see the first signs in direction to Jhunjunnu and promptly get lost in a remote village. The first rickshawwallah I am asking for the road to Jhunjhunu says: „right, Ma’am, you have to go right.“ While I nearly get stuck between a truck and a vegetable cart I ask a shopkeeper for the road to Jhunjhunu. „Left, he says, left, Ma’am. I go left and nearly get stuck between a herd of black buffalos and a truck delivering metal poles. I sigh and five hundred meters later I arrive at the entrance of the village again. Twice I play this game, than I learned my lesson and find the right road to Jhunjhunu. Again, a very silent drive, shrubbery to my right and left, meagre corn fields. Advertisements for „Abuja Cement“ are the only milestones of this trip. In Jhunjhunu I eat a banana and drink Pepsi, surrounded by the many men of the town. I get questioned profoundly. Purpose of trip? Marital status? Where from? Why this car? I can’t even think as quick as the questions appear and then I have to drive on. I leave many men behind, whose questions will remain unanswered. When I arrive later in the afternoon at the hotel, twenty minutes outside of Mandawa, the place looks quiet. Not to say: deathly quiet. After persistent horning, someone opens the gate. Ten minutes later another man arrives on the scene and opens the main entrance door. For another twenty minutes I am pestered with more questions and only later I understand that they needed at least a bit of time to prepare a room. Probably no one had come to stay for a very, very long time. The room smells of dust and moth powder. On the lawn before the room sit four men, who play cards. There is no water in the pool and the water from the shower is rusty and dark brown. But I am so tired after a long day’s drive that I just close my eyes and even forget to sneeze of the dust. When I wake up it is dark outside and empty and dark are the long hallways of the silent hotel, all the keys of the rooms are hanging in the locks, clinging at each other, when a breeze passes through the corridor. I am looking for some food and the man at the reception, he looks a bit like someone, who is not quite sure what is job asks him to do, nods enthusiastically. „Food, is no problem, Ma’am“, he says and leads me the way to big, empty dining room. Massive and back are the tables, on every single one a vase with a dusty, plastic rose. I sit on a table that is set for five. I am surrounded by five waiters. One waiter stands closer to my table than the other ones. He takes my order: a vegetable soup and a sandwich, and whispers it into the ear of the second waiter, who tells it the third waiter, who passes it on to the fourth waiter and finally the fifth waiter barks it as loud as he can into the direction of the kitchen. Twenty-five long minutes pass by and the first waiter who questions me about this and that passes my answers on to those standing a bit back. Five pair of eyes watch me eating, looking how I drink cold water, observe how I cut the sandwich into pieces and probably count how many spoons of soup I eat before the bowl is empty. Five pair of eyes look at how much salt I use and inwardly for sure shake their heads about my habit. The waiter, whose post is most far away from me and the door, runs forward to open the door for me and a chorus of five: wishes me a very good night. In the big hallway, many birds are nesting in the big chandelier, who has no lightbulbs anymore. In the night I listen into the silence and the silence is loud, a big drum of silent heartbeats and in he middle of the night I wake up. Wasn’t there, a strange noise on the floor? An itching? A scratching? A howl? But then I scold myself: The wind, Read On, its just the wind.“


6 thoughts on “Delhi Diary-On the road II

  1. You are such a spunky young lady, going about alone, finding your way, dealing with the many trials of a road trip, and, at the end of the day, making your readers laugh at your description of your meal and the waiters in the hotel. I’m so glad I know you through your blog.

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht.