this post is originally from February 7, 2010
Wow how do I sum up the first full day in India??
We arrived in the middle of the night and within minutes were caught in a scam but had no idea until after. (I guess that is why scams work!) We prepaid a taxi to our hotel, and he wanted 300 Rup. I gave him a 500 bill but instantly he switched it for a 100 and demanded more. I was so caught up in the moment that I believed him. Duhhhh! It is probably a good thing that this happened right off the bat because it definitely made me realize I have to be more careful. Again I didn’t realize that this even happened until we got to our hotel and I couldn’t find the 500 Rup bill.
Getting to our hotel was another feat. As we dodged traffic and swerved into many lanes we arrived in the general area that the hotel was located. Problem was that there were police barricades everywhere and our taxi driver couldn’t reach the area. His explanation was that they had arrested people from Al Qaida and ever since the police have been storming the area. Hmmmm…this sounds fishy. We were told that it was impossible to get to our hotel and at 1 am our driver took us to a tourist office. The dude at the tourist office told us that we could walk there but we might get attacked by ‘crabs’. Crabs???? What the hell??? After discussing this with my friend Jessica we came to the conclusion that the man meant crowds. After contacting the hotel and losing a few more hours sleep we were finally taken to the hotel. Once at our pre-booked hotel we were now told that this hotel is also fully booked… and were escorted to our second hotel. WTF? Only in India.
Yesterday morning we woke up and got ourselves up to see the city of Delhi. It is much different than seeing it in the dark. We hired a taxi for the day and he took us to many of the major sites. The highlights were seeing the crazy architecture and of course being bombarded by people. The traffic is insane. I know i have seen crazy driving in many of my past travels, but for some reason I just don’t get used to it. Our driver told us the key to driving in India are three things. 1. Horn 2. Brake and 3. Luck. I hear ya! What struck me most was little children dodging in and out of traffic while we were stopped and doing cartwheels. We would literally be on busy roads and these children would flip in front of the car and then beg for money. It was truly heart wrenching.
As well, Jess and I seem to attract a lot of attention here. Yes, us white folk… we stick out. People take our pictures both discreetly and very indiscreetly. At one point we had a crowd taking turns posing with us. Others wanted to shake our hands. It is truly a bizarre experience…but what the hell…when in India!
The food so far is awesome and we are definitely trying as much as we can. I’m not sure if our stomachs are thanking us, but are taste buds definitely are. The trouble is, when we get home we wont know what the hell we ate because it is just put in front of us and that is that. I honestly have no idea what is even in the dish…I just make sure it is vegetarian.
This morning we nearly lost our lives not once, but a few times. Because we have not adjusted to the time change we have been getting up at an ungodly hour. We tried to walk to the ‘Monkey Temple’ and trying to cross traffic was insane. Cars, rickshaws, bikes…they don’t stop. It was a tad scary …but we are back safe and sound. While in the temple we had to cover our heads but Jess didn’t bring a scarf. This man gave her the dirtiest hat to put on. I thankfully was wearing my hoodie. We were then told to drink the water and pour it over our face. (Not particularly interested in getting the ‘Delhi Belly’, I pretended to drink it.) We were also given some food bits to eat. (Again I held in my hand and pretended to chew) And then at the end the man put a dot on our forehead to bless us.
Anyhoo, today we will tour around Delhi and see as much as we can. And tomorrow we start on our G Adventures Tour.
The G Adventures Tour has changed a bit since 2010, but this is roughly the path we took
Stay tuned for more…