Nizammuddin’s busiest market

Just down the street from our house is a neighborhood known as the Nizamuddin Basti, which is a very large and crowded neighborhood.Like many small neighborhoods in Delhi and India as well, animals wander freely, motorbikes speed past with just a loud horn blast for a warning and at all times noises and various smells fill the air. When I go with my mom sometimes I have to pay very close attention so I don’t lose sight of her among all the people rushing around, even if she is one tall white person among hundreds of smaller, dark skinned people.

Here is a picture of some cows, goats, and a boy in front of some houses in the basti 

 Every Monday in this neighborhood is a market that is famous in Delhi and is commonly known just Peer Baazaar or Monday Market. One can buy everything from bangles and bras to diapers and dishes, and of course prices are always negotiable.
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This is the basti on Monday

People are everywhere, and stalls are flooded with wares everywhere you look. The air is full of people shouting, people either buying or selling, you are being shoved and pushed from all sides, and everything is bright and colorful. Including the people.

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Here are some people in front of a bangle stand 

Sometimes the market is less crowded, but if it is, then it is either early in the morning when it is just opening, or a holiday. Other than that, there is probably no other time when Monday Market is not filled to the brim with people.

 

Sound like a place you want to visit? It goes without saying that it is very different from Amsterdam or Innsbruck or some of the other places I’ve written about.  It is crowded, noisy, and you do need to pay attention as you walk, both to the ground and in front of you, however the fact that it is probably not like any other place you’ve visited or seen makes it even more special. The basti is a place all it’s own.

Delhi’s park of animals

Delhi’s National Zoological Park is a fun place to go for families. Delhi’s zoo has a white tiger, reptiles, and even a crocodile! I visited this huge zoo with my family, and it was really fun. We looked at the white tiger pacing in its enclosure, a crocodile lounging in the sun, and some monkeys laughing and swinging in their cage. My sister loved it. And if you look around the zoo, you might also be lucky enough to get a glimpse of some peacocks. These beautiful birds wander freely around the zoo, and are very pretty to look at.
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These are some of the hippos we saw

A couple things to remember if you visit the zoo are: First, visit in the winter. Delhi doesn’t get very cold in the winter, and it will be more fun if you are not sweating constantly. During the summer, it can get above 100 degrees, and because the zoo is so big, you’ll probably end up leaving before you can see all of it. Second, you can’t bring food in. The guards will allow water, but if you take food, they will most likely confiscate it. However, there are food and drink stalls set up all around the zoo so you can buy food and drinks. Third, if you have lighter skin, you will be stared at. Many Indians have never seen people with light skin before, so they will stare. Also, people might ask for a selfie. After a while, you will get used to it, but in the meantime, just ignore it.
A cool fact about the zoo is that you can get really close to the animals. My brother was freaked out by a leopard in its cage because he thought it was creepy that the leopard was pacing right inside the cage, up against the chainlink fence. At most of the animals’ cages, there is just a fence separating the animals and the people. At some of the more dangerous animals’ cages, there is a really deep ditch, almost like a moat except without the water, surrounding the animals’ houses. For example, the tiger’s cage had a ditch, and so did the monkeys.
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This is the rhino in it’s cage

In addition to all these cool facts, here are few more reasons why you should visit Delhi Zoo: it is very clean, and very affordable. There is no trash or litter scattered about,and many of the poorer people living in Delhi are able to come see the animals. And the zoo has animals you might not see anywhere else. For example, not many zoos have peacocks wandering around the zoo. Not many zoos have as many as ten different types of deer and gazelles either. Delhi zoo is a really fun place for families to visit, and it is definitely worth visiting. I hope you like it!