New Delhi – was that a holi water balloon?

The "holi" gauntlet

As our tuk-tuk driver led us on foot down this seemingly innocent looking alleyway to go see a temple, the people that occupied the alley when we entered had disappeared when we were walking back out.  I didn’t think anything of it at first but then as I was walking ahead of Miki with our guide, I head a loud noise and then an ear piercing scream.  I instantly turned around and saw Miki had stopped dead in her tracks and was looking skyward.  She wasn’t hurt.  No one was near here…

What happened, I yelled.

I was hit by a water balloon she replied.

What?  A water balloon?

Our tuk-tuk driver interjected with a big smile on his face and said, “don’t worry… it’s holy”

Huh?  A holy water balloon.  The balloon is filled with holy water? That makes it’s ok that Miki got hit by a water balloon that someone threw off a 4 story building.

No, no our tuk-tuk driver replied.  It’s for the festival called holi (with an i not a y).  The kids are just practicing.

Still confused as ever we shrugged it off and kept on exploring the market in the old part of Delhi.  We later found out that India had a festival coming up where they throw colored powder and colored water at each other.  The main day of the festival was 2 days from now and kids were already honing their water balloon throwing skills on unsuspecting tourists.  There weren’t many other tourists around so we became high value targets and had multiple attacks during our short walk.  Those kids are very quick and this was the best picture I could get of two of them.

2 holi attackers

We had to leave Delhi the day before the festival which is to bad.  I would have like to prepared myself for battle and gotten some revenge :)  Lot’s of people were getting ready for the festival and the street vendors were there to help.

Street vendor selling colored powder for holi

Colored powder for the holi festival... it gets everywhere.

Our tuk-tuk driver continued to take us around the old delhi markets.  The sights, sounds, and smells you experience are what travelling is all about.  This was a different planet.

Old Delhi market tour

Drivers in India are some of the craziest yet most skilled drivers we’ve had the experience to ride along with during our travels.  Our driver could easily talk on his cell phone while a motorbike was speeding past a truck that was heading right for us.  Our driver didn’t flinch and mildly steered out of the way continuing his conversation as our knuckles turned white hanging onto the railings for dear life.

Delhi's crazy drivers

The best part of visiting markets around the world is mixing with the locals.  Miki is an expert at that and always love trying her hand at new professions.

Miki the vegetable seller

Miki the tricycle driver

Miki the nut and spice merchant

You know those immigration cards you need to fill out when you enter back into your home country.  There is usually a check box that says have you handled any livestock during your trip abroad… or something like that.  I wonder if this counts.

handling livestock?

A final panorama of Delhi…

Our hotel concierge, taxi driver, and even a few blogs recommended to stay away from this area of Delhi because it’s too dangerous.  I’m glad we went and explored a little even though we had a few scary moments with some water balloon attacks.  All part of the fun of travelling.

One last thing, you know what a mid western, meat and potato boy craves after eating nothing but indian curry for 2 solid weeks… a Big Mac.  Luckily there was a Mc Donalds close by so off we went.   We entered the golden arches and I stood patiently in line waiting for my turn to order.  While waiting I took a look at the menu and…. WHAT… no Big Mac.  No double quarter pounder with cheese.  In fact, no meet at all.  Duh… cows are sacred in India which means no beef.  Not a problem though.  The Chicken Maharaja Mac to the rescue.  Not as good as beef laden Big Mac but it still hit the spot.

Chicken Maharaja Mac

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