That was kind of fun, writing down 5 things to do in Delhi. It brought back many a happy memory. Memories of rushing towards a government wine shop with one eye on the clock, trying to burrow your way through the mass of humanity thronging the counter and getting your arms around a bunch of bottles before the "theka" or liquor store, closed at 9 pm. Now I think I shall refine it a bit...and go for 5 things to do in Noida. Its been a while since I lived in Noida, and maybe some of the places I remember do not exist anymore or have fallen into disrepute, superceded by newer attractions. Still, for what its worth, I give you - 5 things to do in Noida
1. Have an iced tea with a cheese tomato sandwich. Or if its winter, then a warm cup of almond kahwah. The lal market, just besides sector 30 and 36 is a great place to hang out, and not just for the young army daughters. Theres a little Tea Shoppe, just next to the Lal Market. Run by a gentleman who retired after running a tea estate, its a great place to enjoy a cuppa. Sit down on the cane chairs, warm your hands on the little coal fires and have long conversations with friends while sipping endless varieties of tea. A must-do if you are in noida.
2. Score some pot. Noida is liberally sprinkled with good old fashioned pot sellers. All you need to do is ask. You dont need to smoke it, but just for the fun of scoring it, its a must do activity. You would be taken into bylanes, into slums, into wierd clearings in slums where frightening statues of the mother goddess look over a bunch of hash devotees, to crowded marketplaces where the stuff is sold in sealed plastic bags so professional looking that you almost expect to see a bar code on them. If in case you shrink from this activity, have no fear, just walk around to the naya bans market in sector 15, ask for the government hemp shop and provided that you have a ten rupee note, walk away with a government approved and distributed bag of indian pot leaves that you might be able to finish in a month, if you smoked really fast.
3. Grab a camera and a motorcycle and go out at midnight to the noida expressway. Driving along it in the middle of the night as it snakes its way over the Yamuna river is a real fun thing to do. Stopping at various points to take photographs and communicate with the river goddess is highly recommended. Round this off with a drive down towards Kalindi, when you get in from the expressway, head towards Mayur Vihar and take a left in front of the aiims apartments, on a small nondescript road. This little road snakes its way along the Kalindi reservoir and is a beautiful drive. A great expanse of water stretches out as far as the eye can see. There are various birds and stuff to entertain you. The moon shines down on a lonely fisherman rowing his boat across it and casting its net. Dont stop too long unless you know your way around, for the police have a habit of being rather inquisitive and butting in without being introduced. A good story is that of being a staff photographer for a newspaper and showing them your camera. They are a little wary of fleecing journalists and so usually will let you alone.
4. Food at Laxmi's. Down at Brahmaputra market in sector 29 theres a little udipi joint called Laxmi which has the best coconut chutney ever known to man. The food is cheap, hot, fresh and mouthwateringly delicious. Try the rasam as a start, then the days special and then keep eating as long as you can. Make sure to round it off with a filter coffee. The surrounding areas are great for bird watching. Also if you walk down a bit you come to ganga shopping complex which is like the underbelly of noida. All night cybercafes, bars, restaurants, a lovely parantha shop, liquor stores and sundry offices make up this shopping complex. Everything is cheap, but watch out for the drunks.
5. Sector 18. Still the coolest place to hang out. Sit outside on the corner of Barista and watch the human parade. Best to have hot drinks and keep watching till you feel a sense of contentment. Good place to meet new people too. Then toddle down to the nearby theka, buy a beer and drink it in a shady corner keeping an eye out for cops. Have some food off the streets and top it off with an icecream from mcdonalds. For further entertainment, theres always elevate.
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