“Oh you’re going to Colombo? Yeah so are we, but we’re not staying there, oh no no no, we’re headed straight for the beach”
You can change the name of the city from Delhi, to Mumbai to wherever. So often I hear this line from people who see the big cities as something to be endured rather than enjoyed. For me cities have so much to offer!
Whilst this post is in retrospect, (I am currently sweating it out in (very hot) Stuttgart for the week), I spent five days in Colombo and ten days in total in Delhi on my trip, more than most would give them.
So when looking through archives I found this post, lovingly crafted and yet to see the light of day, making the case for adding a few more days to the next city you find yourself in…
1. Markets, markets, markets
As a one pound shop girl at heart and one who admires Aldi’s philosophy of putting lawnmowers next to cauliflowers, local markets bring me so much joy! A kitsch lovers dream these bazaars are filled with wonders you didn’t even know you needed in your life, yet will make you smile for years to come. Like a Sinhalese vegetable colouring book, an owl flashing watch, or a pen that transforms in to five different types of screw head. I’m joking about the last one but i’ve found some real treasures at these markets, my favourite being a delicate Rajasthani tie dye shawl for a 100 rupees in Jodhpur.
Shopping aside they’re a great way to lose yourself, be a novelty and see how other people go about their day. Its often the small details that can bring laughter, say, when your packaging becomes more entertaining than your purchase.
Like my Sri Lankan plug adapter, wrapped up in Mr Mesthari Acharige Gayani’s application of registration for his eco green 145cc three wheeler. Data protection nightmare vs extreme recyclist dream me thinks..
2. Nom – Stuff the diet
Street food, hot samosas, chilly filled short eats, bags of funny coloured shapes, sweets piled high glistening in the sun.
Forget your banana pancakes and the other traveller fare, this is where your taste buds want to be and with something new round every corner its hard to say no. It’s also the reason I never become a teeny tiny slip of a thing which I banked on after everyone warned me i’d be shedding half my weight down the loo once I landed in India.
Hasn’t happened, yet I don’t regret a single piece of amazing food I’ve had which in turn led me to be even more bold with my choices, is that chicken brain you say?
3. Get on two wheels
While any ‘proper’ traveller worth their salt will undoubtably travel locally between destinations on buses and trains, there is something about cycling which allows me to get a real feel for the beat of a certain city. Its usually because I get lost, have to stop for directions and perhaps get sidetracked by something or someone. Whilst it may seem daunting in a bigger city, that’s half the fun! The Delhi by cycle tour allowed access to areas that may have been a bit daunting to walk round alone. You also get way less hassle to buy this or that as you trundle on by.
So there you have it. Give your next transit city a try and you may be pleasantly surprised…