how the mighty have fallen

It’s 4:45pm, 41 degrees and just starting to rain. Welcome to Delhi, which is undergoing its hottest summer in 50 years.

The only word to describe the scene as we step outside the hotel is “hellish.” Delhi looks under siege; with the final push on to get the place in a state fit for the Commonwealth Games, no patch of the inner city seems like it will escape the blitz(krieg). You can scarcely walk more than a few metres without being confronted with a pile of rubble to traverse while you weave through precarious scaffolding and dodge chunks of falling concrete. And the dust. Oh, the dust. The dust that crunches between your eyelids when you blink.

There’s only one place to retreat when this and a near punch-up with a rickshaw-wallah threatens your sanity: Cafe Coffee Day. Haven of tourists and the Indian middle classes alike, I’m sure you can imagine it without even trying – cheap, blonde wood decor; baseball cap, name badge-sporting staff; gimmicky crossover advertising; endless permutations of caffeinated beverages. Linds’ favourite is the verging-on-racist “Iced Eskimo”; I think my vote lies with the “Mochachillo.” I hate it and myself every time we end up here – on an almost daily basis at the moment – but I blame India.

Deliver me, Lord, from evil.

Post-script (28/4): Relationship with Cafe Coffee Day is being seriously reconsidered. Was curiously itchy while visiting today and upon departure found a lone bed bug nestled on the waistband of my trousers. Is nothing sacred??

Post-script (1/5): Informed by urbane cabin-mate on the train that the cool kids call it “CCD.” Get with the lingo.


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One Response to “how the mighty have fallen”

  1. AN Says:

    Ah yes, Cafe Coffe day – G and I bought many a coffee or bottle of water there in our short time in India, primarily to use the loo facilities. As you know, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Delhi. I can’t imagine that in a heat wave it can have improved at all!

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