On Monday we moved out of the safety and comfort of the hotel into an apartment. We'll be here for a month or so. Our new place is on the top floor of a modern-ish building in the middle-class neighbourhood of Tilak Nagar. It's in gated block of around 100 3-4 story apartment buildings with a park at the centre. We have access to the terrace on the room, from which we get a nice view around. It's a short distance to Freddie's work, which was the main reason we picked the place, and that there was a playground in the park in front. It's not a posh place but seems ok. Like the rest of Delhi there is dust everywhere.
When Freddie left for work the afternoon that we moved in I felt rather isolated. I couldn't find places to fill the cupboards with anything familiar to eat. Walking around with 2 kids made me quite alien in the neighbourhood, indians are not shy to stop and stare. Failing to put dinner on the table in the evening we braved the crowd and ventured out to the market area by the metro station and ate street food. The hussle and bustle of the people was very enlivening. The following day the landlord showed me where there was a small supermarket and the apartment started to feel a little more like home.
Freddie works 4 days per week and while feeding Oscar has decided that she'll take Wednesdays off. We decided that after being in Delhi for almost a week without seeing anything old it was time to head to the old centre. We took the metro into Chandni Chowk which is the old main road that runs from the old town to the Red Fort. The metro took almost a hour and along the way we passed by lots of neighbourhoods that looked just like ours. We began to get the feeling that we were living in a very big city. Chandni Chowk was really crowded with honking cars and people, but wasn't as overpowering as I'd been expecting. There were some beggars asking for money and every inch of space was occupied by something but there was always a way through. The pram that we brought from Europe would have been pointless here, with all the obstacles and bumpy pavement, where it existed. Anton was happy in the backpack on my back and Oscar being carried by Freddie in a pouch.
We didn't come to town with a particular objective but ended out at the Red Fort which we went into. It was very impressive. The exterior walls of red stone were amazing and the gate through which one entered very impressive. Once inside and past where tickets were obligatory it became quite relaxed. There were palaces and pavillions arranged around lawns. Many of them were under repair but still very beautiful. There was differential pricing for Indians and foreigners but the price (250 rupees each) was worth it. I'm sure we'll be back when we get visitors.