BootsnAll Travel Network

May 30th – Agra to Delhi


Today we woke up at 445am and started what would be a long journey to delhi.  The bus was a long ride and we arrived in Delhi after stopping several times for the food and bathroom at around 1145 am.  I decided to update my blog on my palm pilot and chill out.  Others went off exploring delhi but I wasn’t really keen on it.  But today would also be exciting as we would have a chance to tour parliment and have a meeting with government officials.  We arrived at the hotel in Delhi and had time to change and relax.  We had to be down at 1245pm so we would have enough time to get to parliament.  Since traffic is horrific in Delhi you always have to leave extra time.


I initially thought the experience would be terribly boring, but I would be pleasantly surprised as to how it went.  When we arrived we were brought in to an international conference room with microphones and headsets for different languages.  The secretary who is like an administrator to the parliament, not a member of parliament himself introduced himself and each person sitting on the opposite side of the table introduced themselves as well.  There were many people in the room, as well as an official photographer to capture this event.  After introducing themselves, we introduced ourselves, professor artusio said a nice greeting and then the secretary began to speak.  He introduced the system of government in India which was quite interesting and some of the issues and guidelines and how the system basically works.  After that we had a chance to ask questions.  I tried to ask a question but I got a little nervous and thrown off by another student who by pure coincidence had asked my exact question moments earlier.  Anyway I got a nice response to the question and my mess up was quickly forgotten.


After the question and answer reception we had a really nice reception with coffee, tea and some pastries and food.  I had the opportunity to speak with one of the members at the meeting for about 20 minutes and it was really interesting to discuss the issues of India, and how we have some issues comparatively in America and some staunch differences.  For example in terms of election procedures, India votes electronically.  Its amazing considering america with 1/3 the population votes the old fashioned way.  This guy assured me that their system has not had problems with fraud and is extremely efficient and easy to use.  I expressed my concern as to why the USA has not adopted a similar election procedure especially after the mess with bush v. gore in 2000 (thats you uncle jay and aunt betty!)


After the reception we were given a tour of the houses of parliament and actually had an opportunity to vote like the members would do on a bill up for vote.  It was really exciting and interesting and I’m glad I had this really special opportunity.  Unlike America, Indian Parliament is NOT open to the public, and security is tight after there was an attempted bombing on the gates of the Parliament last year.  Once we left Parliament we briefly stopped at the famous India Gate, I snapped a few photos and we headed back to the hotel.


At around 530PM I arrived back at the Jukaso Inn, threw my stuff down and decided to chill out and update my blog on my palm.  At around 730pm several of us including one of the female indian students ventured off to an area of Delhi called CP to look for some good cheap local food.  We ended up packing 5 of us in to a rickshaw which was tight and there were people on laps.  We ended up going to a very lovely and relatively inexpensive chinese restaurant.  The food I ordered was so spicy I had instant heart burn and could only eat about half my meal.  The hot and sour soup was also soooo good, I really love Indian chinese food, much better than China.


After dinner we haggled for a rickshaw home and I went to bed after updating my blog a little bit and hanging out with some people in the group.  I wanted to get some sleep as we would again have to wait up before 5am for the third day in a row, this was really getting ridiculous!


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