I think I’ve finally come to love the monsoon season in India. I’m mesmerized by the way the rains paint the mountains an emerald green, and provide relief to the parched desert. The way the clouds playfully flirt with the moon at night. The way the monsoon mist descends on lakes and waterfalls. The cool breeze, the raindrops on my skin, the smell of the earth, they are all subtle reminders of how travelling makes me feel – liberated.
It was a sad day when I stood at the door of Cafe Zaffiro, sometime in May, and realized it had shut down. A cosy, quiet cafe with the most awesome food, fast wifi and friendly staff, it was one of my favorite places to work out of in Delhi. That day I decided to start a fresh search for the best new cafes with free Wifi in South Delhi (Read: 5 Best ‘Work From Home’ Cafes in South Delhi).
My constant travels sometimes leave me craving to curl in and enjoy the finer luxuries of travelling. So when an opportunity arose, I decided to grab it and stay at the Club Room of the Taj Palace hotel, in Delhi itself. I first came across the concept of a “Staycation” – indulging in a luxury stay within your own city – while living in Singapore, and to be honest, cringed at the thought of wasting a weekend staying in when the world outside was waiting.
While boarding my flight from Barcelona to Delhi a few days back, the familiar heartache crawled its way back to find me. My month-long adventures in Spain were ending; I already missed the gorgeous olive countryside, the long lunches, the longer siestas, the best sangrias in the world, and the cobbled streets of sleepy old towns that first made me fall in love with Europe. Admittedly, getting upgraded to business class on Turkish Airlines helped nurse the pain, but it wasn’t until I started chatting up my co-passenger on my second flight from Istanbul to Delhi, that I knew I was on my way to new adventures. Before you start getting ideas, this isn’t about that Bollywood story where girl meets boy and the rest is predictable!
Let’s face it, working from home isn’t easy. Waking up early in the morning can be injurious to your daily schedule. Getting distracted by social media is necessary to keep your sanity. You can be eating breakfast at dinner time, and supper during lunch. The least you deserve is a handful of cafes that understand your lifestyle. Since bidding goodbye to corporate life in sunny Singapore and moving to Delhi, I’ve been on a quest to find cafes with easy all-day access to good food, a lightening fast internet connection, and the option to interact with a friendly staff.
So you’ve ignored all travel warnings about India’s capital city, overlooked all evidence pointing against safety, discarded all perceptions thrown at you, and decided to move your life to Delhi. Brilliant. Here are 9 tips for surviving life in Delhi as a single woman, compiled after my five-month-long love & hate relationship with the city.
You’re forgiven for cursing the sun gods for the signature Delhi heat. But thanks to them, the long weekends of Dussehra & Diwali are beckoning you to ditch the sunscreen, lose the ice stock, drop your sun hat, and set out for a breath of fresh air.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” ~Aldous Huxley. Delhi has a reputation of being a nightmare for single women. So when I made the ‘bold’ transition from one of the safest cities in the world, Singapore, to perhaps one of the most unsafe, I was filled with curiosity, and to be honest, a little intimidated.