Saturday, September 10, 2005

Fab India, not so fab Hotel Imperial

We made it back from Kathmandu to Delhi and finally back to Dublin. Dublin is less than half the 40 degrees we left behind in Delhi, but it's nice to be back at last. Somehow in both Kathmandu and Delhi airports we fell for the same trick. Both countries have non-convertible currencies, so strictly speaking Nepali and Indian rupees are worthless once you leave the country. In the airports of both capital cities, as soon as you get through the first security check there are no foreign exchange counters and you are not permitted to leave the secure area. Yippee! We fell for this a second time in Delhi. That said, we found ways to convert our leftover currency, so it wasn't all bad.

We found Fab India on the second try in Delhi and shopped our little hearts out. It's located in M-block market in the Greater Kailash Part I suburb, a good 45 minutes drive from the city centre. Unfortunately there are at least 3 M-block markets in Greater Kailash Part I (we visited them all, in reverse order of usefulness). We didn't get to check out Greater Kailash Part II or East of Kailash (real places!).

We made the foolish mistake of treating ourselves to a night in a luxury hotel in Delhi, as a counterpoint to the lack of electricity and heating in the mountains I guess. This went badly wrong. The otherwise 5 star Hotel Imperial, which had been recommended to us by some colleagues who had stayed there, was a disaster for us. The water was muddy and brown, the air conditioning made the room like Antartica and eventually had to be switched off, they lost our luggage and were rude and implied it was our fault they had lost it. It took three reminders and three hours to get the promised bed for Jasmine. Spending money != happiness.

We transferred to another hotel and were much happier, although in hindsight, returning to Major's Den would have made us happier still.

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