Wednesday, November 02, 2005

First night....lo what a gong show

11:30 arive in Delhi
12:30 Clear customs
1:30 Get my pre paid cab ride bought from the police to keep anyone from scamming the travellers
1:45 Get in the cab and he asks for the piece of paper that shows I paid for the cab, he needs this because its the only thing that will allow the govn't to pay him. I let him see it but won't let him hang onto it (Thank you lonely planet and the ten minutes I spent reading about delhi before I got off the plane). He doesn't like the fact that I wno't give it to him.
1:46 Asks where I'm from and is it my first time in India (Lonely planet warns people that if you say its your first time they will try to scam you)
1:46.3 I realize that its going to be an interesting cab ride and I"m glad it was only a 8 hour flight and its 5pm back in London so I'm wide awake and ready to roll. I'm freaking out and I now its game on.
1:47 He tells me my hotel isn't safe because of the bomb and that it may have blown up. (Lonely planet says "Your hotel hasn't burnt down no matter what the cabby says" guess they use the bomb now) I ignore and ask if he is married.
1:50 after small talk about his family and him asking me if I had a job in canada (I respond that I'm a very poor student with no money) he starts telling me that "bomb very bad, your hotel not safe. Police won't let me get close"
-I ignore (super freaking cause I know he is scammnig me and I can't do anything about it)
2am after him speaking to me and me not understanding he stops outside of a "Tourist Information" place. Safe in most countries but not in india.
2.01 he knocks on the door and this dude opens it up and I can tell that they are going to try something. I'm thinking I'm a dead man. I have already moved one credit card from my money belt and hid it down my pants. I figure if they take everything at least I"ll have stinky visa.
2.02 They sit me down and ask if I have a place to stay. I tell them I do and I would like to go there. I am very polite for now. They say its not possible for me to get there and the hotel isn't taking anyone in right now because the bomb blast was 20m away, which is true by the way.
2.03 I tell them my buddy is already staying there and that I got an email from him today this morning before I left London.
2.04 He says that it isn't possible and the cabby can't even get there because the police have a massive road block and no can get through
2.05 I start to get pissed because I know I can get there
2.10 they try to call the hotel then get me to call. I can't get through for some reason, they think I'm bluffing, I'm not.
2.11 I stand up and look at the cabby and tell him he has two choice we call the police or he takes me to my hotel.
2.12 I realize this was a bad move beacause we walk outside and there is a police officer sitting there. I know whats going to happen so I call them scammers and that I want the driver to take me to airport.
2.13 "Why do you want to go to the airport? Its not safe to travel at this time of night"
2.14 "You take me to the airport or my hotel or you don't get the piece of paper from me and you get no money. I'll find another cab that will take me there"
2.15 The cabby points to the cab and I get in. I have no idea what I've done and if I'm gonig to the airport or the hotel or what. I think he is taking me to rob me now that I have called his bluff. You have to understand everything looks like its a ghetto here but I didn't know that at the time so I just thought I was in the uber poor area and he was going to take me around the corner and leave me there with no money.
2.45 (I think I messed the time up a little bit) We pull down this road and its crazy cause there are cows and shops that are closed but at least there are lights and stuff like that so I think it could be semi-safe.
2.47 Driver asks the name of the hotel, I give it and he drives me to the hotel. It was one of the happiest days of my life to see robs ugly mug smilling at me when I came into our room.

Rest of the day was spent with people trying to rip us off, eating awesome food, drinking some beer, and checking out the sights in Delhi.

On Friday rob and I are off to Kashmir a place I have always wanted to go. Don't read anything about how bad it is there because its not true and its not where we are going. We are giong to the Dal Lake or something like that and we are going to chill on a house boat and relax, maybe do some hiking we'll see.



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