Sunday, June 8, 2008

An obvious foreigner (Delhi)

My first step outside the airport was complete chaos. I didn't know what to do, and I found an airport official to ask about a taxi. He pointed me in the direction of the pre-paid taxi counter. I was waiting in line when a taxi driver came up to me offering his help. (Wrongly) assuming he was there to assist the guys at the counter, I decided to take his help, and he led me to a taxi. Along the way I was bombarded by many more taxi drivers who were hoping for my business. Well, of course it turns out that he has no association with the pre-paid counter, and was only trying to overcharge me... and was successful. Lesson to be learned: whether you are at an airport or a train station, go straight to the pre-paid taxi/rickshaw counter!!! You will be nearly guaranteed the best price!

Most of my time in Delhi was spent getting ripped off. The taxi ride from the airport, buying a SIM card and minutes for my phone, and buying a last minute train ticket from a travel agent. (If you need a ticket, go to the train station, and major destinations have a foreigner's quota for last minute foreign travelers that will allow you to book a ticket). The three days I was in Delhi, I probably paid US$50 more than I should have. But I am not even mad about being ripped off, just sad. Because I knew foreigners had a tendency to get ripped off, and I am sad that I became a victim... many times.

But when I was not being ripped off, I found people to be very nice... Actually, even when I was being ripped off, I found them to be nice... which is why I would like to trust them, but obviously I cannot. But when walking down the street, people would stop me to try to get me to buy something... and even after I have clearly indicated that I am not interested, they will still ask if I need help with anything. So in that respect, people are very helpful.

And the driving is crazy! Drivers are constantly honking their horns... literally. In fact, on the back of buses it even says "horn please." Honking seems to be a way to let others know of their presence... constantly. And most of the time there are no lanes, and even if there are, it really means nothing. They just drive where ever their vehicles fit.

Some random occurrences:
-I saw two monkeys chillin out on the side of the road.
-I've seen many people jump on and off moving buses.
-I was in a rickshaw and my driver stops to pee on the side of the road.

1 comment:

  1. welcome to india
    your last 3 sentences sums it up

    "the overland traveller goes around the corner to see who there is to meet around the next corner..."
    "the ultimate way of travel, try hitch hiking with a bike..."

    best time to come to Napier, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, international art deco week. 18-21 feb 2010