14.04.2013 - 15.04.2013 39 °C
Pushkar was another place I was sad to say goodbye to. It was cool and I really had a great time just hanging around, but twas time to buckle up and get my ass to Delhi! I had a mad taxi driver on the way to the station. He drove like a lunatic, even by Indian standards, and stopped abruptly to chastise and shout at other drivers along the way. He tailgated motorbikes and drove up on the path, broke a red light and was just generally a maniac. I was pretty glad to get out of that banger of a car alive.
My train to Delhi started superbly. As soon as I sat down, I was given free juice, sweets and bombay mix! Thereafter, at every stop at a station, we were all given more free food. :D There is not a lot more joyous than free food whilst travelling. :D After the next stop, I was given ''tomato'' (really??) soup and breadsticks. At the next stop, I was given a big thali, and after the next stop I got free ice cream. :D SCORE!
As we were pulling into Delhi, the husband of the lady beside me, who had been faffing around in the next carriage, returned with half of his shirt torn off and dangling down. There also seemed to be some blood on the t shirt underneath his shirt!! There was a big kerfuffle in our carriage as his wife asked him ''What the hell happened to your shirt husband???''. (I assume... they were talking in Hindi).
His reply captivated the entire carriage and in true India style, the whole carriage gathered round to nosy parker in and see what happened. Everyone was standing up and exclaiming, clasping their hands to their mouths and asking him more questions. While his wife was mid gasp, I asked her what happened. She replied (with a lot of miming) that somone had tried to cut her husbands shirt open with a blade to get the rupees in his shirt pocket!! I was like.. WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTT???? Crazy!!! Surely if someone had that much time, they would have just stuck their hand in to his pocket quickly and grabbed the dosh. :/
Suddenly, the wife cried out ''It's tooo much!! the crime in Delhi - it's too much''..
YIKES!! All this as we are pulling into Delhi station at 10.30pm. Delhi, in the dark, on my own. Bollix. :D
What's one to do?? Except grab one's backpack and walk quickly and look as if you know where you're going.
Just as I was walking out of the station, I met an Israeli girl named Orit, who was dying for a fag (cigarette). We joined forces and swerved the tuk tuk touts and taxi touts and hopped on a cycle rickshaw as we knew we weren't going too far. Orit was good craic and we chatted away and decided to meet for coffee and breakfast in the morning.
We dropped Orit at her hotel and then my driver tried to drop me off at another hotel that wasn't mine. sigh...
I said ''OI YOU' - Kuldeep hostel please as I have already booked it!''.
So off we went again looking for my hostel. I dunno how we found it. It was down this tiny dark alleyway between shops and peoples' gaffs!
This small kid, wearing a bandana across his face (he looked like a highway robber) appeared and said ''which hotel?''.
I said ''Kuldeep'',
and he said ''Come this way'' and pointed off down and even darker smaller alleyway.
I was thinkin..." oh lord, I'm going to be robbed by a 12 year old!"
I exclaimed that it was too dark and I'd go back the other way.
But he said '' no problem, please - Kuldeep - this way!''
So I followed him into this small hotel reception, then out the door of that small hotel reception!! hmmm
We passed by people drinking tea in their houses, lads cooking something fried in big woks and then I followed him in the door of another small hotel reception. At this stage, I hadn't a clue which way we'd come or if we were even in Kuldeep as the sign over the door said ''New King Hostel''.
So the conversation with this grumpy auld fella behind the desk goes like this..
Guy: what's your name
Me (suspiciously): leeeeeesa
him: where are you from
me (suspiciously): Ireeeelandddd?
him: You have a reservation?
Me: Yes Is this Kuldeep?
Him: Yes - do you have your reservation number
Me: eh yesssss... Is this really Kuldeep? It says something else on the door..
Him: (sighs, and shouts something into the background)
Then this fantastic fellow appears in the doorway and says ''Lisa?''.. I nodded.
He says: ''Lisa, why are you so suspicious?'' LOL
Then I cracked up.. apologised and explained how I was suspicious as someone had attempted to drop me off somewhere else earlier, and a kid had led me down a mad blind alley and in and out of various shops and hotel fronts along the way.
He was a very nice guy and asked me why I wanted to stay in a mixed hostel in India. I explained that I heard the hostel was good and there were lots of travellers about. He said if I wanted to share the 6 bed dorm with 5 other Indian lads I could, but if not I could have a room for the same price.
I took the room.
The room was grand and had a TV with English movies on it. Unfortunately the fan only went on in full blast mode. :/ After the AC on the train, the heat in Delhi and the full blast fan in the room, I got a stinking cold.
The next day I went to meet Orit anyways and we had a great time figuring out the Delhi Metro System!
We went to Lodi Gardens which was full of young lovers hiding in the hedges, lovely old Mosquesque buildings and lots of little squirrels. We sat on the grass and discussed our respective countries and their fall from grace into trouble and recession.
Orit was 42. She looked way younger! After the park, we went to the Delhi National Art gallery and onto a rooftop restaurant for dinner. While we were eating, a big parade came through the town with a marching band! This madness drove the two big cows in the square bonkers and we had a laugh watching them run towards people and blundering into stalls and bikes.
The parade also had a big truck with speakers attached to it and lots of holy men in it. This truck was being pulled along by 2 ropes. 1 rope was pulled by a load of men, the other was being pulled by women. This parade went on for about half an hour or so, after which we escaped to our hotels for a shower and rest before meeting back up later to go to the cinema and watch a Hindi (Bollywood) movie.
It was a comedy called Naatanki Sala (or something) and was easy enough to follow. The language of comedy is pretty universal. There were funny faces being pulled, guys falling into things and the odd few expressions in English. The popcorn was delicious and I was thoroughly enjoying this Indian movie experience. We decided to call it quits at the interval (THEY HAVE INTERVALS) as the cinema was freezing and my cold wasn't improving with it. Plus we could kind of tell what was going to happen.
The next day I went to say Ta Ra to Orit as she was flying home to Tel Aviv and I had to move on to my next hotel to meet my G adventures Trip group in Karol Bagh at 2pm. When I got here however, the opening meeting was postponed so I had a few hours to relax in my tres comfy hotel room, order a short cheese sandwich and watch Rush Hour on the TV. Bliss. :D