New Delhi Travel Blog› entry 83 of 96 › view all entries
We got up mega early in Beijing to leave us plenty of time to get to the airport, especially seeing as we knew what the Chinese taxi drivers where like in not picking up westerners.
Luckily for us we waited about a second literally, and off we went, along with JR, our american friend who we decided to share the taxi with. We got to the airport with plenty of time and chilled before hopping on the first of our two flights.
When we arrived in Singapore we had 4 hours to kill until our connecting flight to New Dehli, luckily for us Singapore airport is probably the best airport in the world to do this.
Our flight to India wasn’t so nice as we had some pretty bad turbulence for the last hour or so and it made it pretty uncomfortable.
When we arrived in Dehli at 10pm we got our bags and then headed out in search of our hotels driver for our pick up.The drive to the hotel took a while but it was enjoyable for me, I always get abit of a buzz when I arrive in a new country.
And I expected a lot of India, especially Dehli, all those travellers we have met who never had a good thing to say about India, how its dirty,crazy etc. It was yes, but that what I was expecting. But the drive from the airport did provide some suprises , in that I mean the aftermath of 3 crashed on a 1km stretch of road. Welcome to India!
On our first full day in India we smartly decided to take it relatively easy and just scout around nearby. After a pretty nice breakfast free from the hotel we headed out into the Chaos of the Main Bazaar in Pahrganj.
People usually say two things about India when I meet them, the first being its mental, and yes it is, but I did expect it to be worse. Well I expected it to be too much for me, as people always tell you that you’ll never be ready for it.Bollocks! 8 months in south east asia and china has helped, but I agree if I had come from England id be abit shocked.
The second thing they usually say is it smells like shit, and that too is kind of true, well I thought that, but then I realised that I kept walking past an open toilet near our hotel. It smelt sooooo bad that I wanted to be sick every time I walked past.
On the Main Bazaar we had a look around and it was funny really, I promised myself I would go to India with the openest mind possible and I wouldn’t fuck off any local who came up to me for a chat.
But India was different, it would always start with, “Hello how do you do?”, and I would say ok etc. Then they would ask things like “ whats your good name, where are you from etc etc. And Indians are amazing in their knowledge of British geography, usually no-one knows where in England im from but Indians do, most of them do, they even list nearby tourist attractions to where you live.haha.
So most of these conversations where nice, but the was always, I have a rickshaw, tourist information, shop etc thrown in, but as soon as you said no they would drop it and then carry on talking to you about something else.
We headed to Connaught place in search of a guidebook, we found one but probably paid too much for it, but at least it was brand new. I did notice a cool looking restaurant called Piccadehli,,haha, and the entrance was a line of old british red phone boxes that you have to walk through.
Back at the hotel I got on Skype and went in search of some answers as to where my 984.84p was, what I did find out was that the last 5 or so people I spoke to at Nationwide had fucking lied to me. NOT COOL. Amazingly I kept my cool and just explained about the inept idiots clearly working there. I did finally get through to someone that sounded like she was doing something to get it back.
In order to calm myself down I needed some therapy, and I was in India so what should I do. Oh yeah……………FOOD! I absolutely love Indian food, I could eat it for every meal, its so nice I could even go vegetarian on it. But I refrained from going that far and we had some Biryani, masala, roti, parantha etc, a fucking marvellous meal, and we even got some nice british tea. I was already beginning to feel at home here.
The hotel we were staying in was getting annoying because I kept asking if we could stay another night but they kept telling me to come back in half an hour. I got fed up waiting so we checked out and went across to the road to another hotel, which was half the price too.
After settling in there we headed to the train station in search of onward tickets for tomorrow, and to be honest, we would go anywhere. I got told it was really hard to get train tickets at such short notice in India.
The trip to the train station was funny as fuck, we knew there was a foreign tourist booking office in the station, we had numerous touts trying to grab us and tell us there was no office etc. I laughed them off and asked what happened as we had been there the day before and they just went silent. In the station I was amazed at how easy it was to get a ticket, we wanted to go to Amritsar to see the golden temple. And we got tickets for the following day, perfect.
After getting our tickets, we headed back to the hotel and dropped them off then made our way to the Red fort, on an expensive( cheap to everywhere else) auto rickshaw.
The Red fort was really impressive actually if a little expensive to get in at 250rp, it had gone up 150rp in the last year. Typical. We walked round for an hour or so, most of this time we were followed by groups of young men. One group in particular where kind of annoying. We even tried to trick them with our route but it didn’t work. Finally they plucked up the courage to ask for a photo with us. I don’t mind when the ask, but its when you see these guys doing it on the sly, or trying to at least.
We had some chai at the restaurant in the fort and we met a Belgian couple who told us we could get a subway back to where we were staying. Id been that naïve about Dehli I didn’t even realise it had a subway.
So when we left we went looking for the entrance and it was a right fucking trek to find it through chaotic and busy conditions but after 20mins we found it. It was ridiculously cheap which was good, well until I lost my token down the stairs. This started hilarious scenes of groups of Indian men trying to get the token back but they actually made it even harder to get.
Back in Pahrganj we had dinner on the rooftop of a hotel and watched the sunset, then got an early night for the early rise in the morning!