Escape from New Delhi (and some travel tips)

Trip Start Jul 25, 2011
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Trip End Sep 01, 2011


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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Friday, August 12, 2011

There can't be a day where everything goes good as planned, so let's just focus on the best thing: leaving New Delhi.
 
This morning I went to the Delhi train station as soon as I got up, only to find it packed with other desperate travellers of every background imaginable. The international tourism office suggested me to either take a night train to Jaipur or to go by bus anytime during the day. No need to tell which option I ended up choosing.
 

 On the way back to the hotel for checking out the hell rained upon me. Stupidly dressed (yet again) with a t-shirt and short trousers I had no choice but to run.
And so I started running through the wet and muddy hell, completely void of people and cars for once. The relief! It was exactly like a scene from Lola Runs, if you've seen it. Dry or wet I just wanted to get out. And it rained and rained, every inch of my body was soaked wet. It was like purifying from the filth of this city with its own rain. Delhi's rain, pure as angels' tears, right?
 
For the whole run I just kept repeating myself "phone don't get wet please phone don't get wet", which apparently worked since the phone itself was the only thing that didn't.
Blinded by the excitement of my success I went into the wrong room and found a young Frenchman sleeping naked in his bed. So much for safety, good thing there are no sexual harassers in the whole of India. 
 
Back in my room (alone) I just washed my feet, threw everything into a plastic bag and changed my clothes at lightspeed, grabbed an egg sandwich from the breakfast buffet and finally checked out.
 
I have to be honest: I connected to a nearby wifi spot and looked for any flight departing from Delhi to Kathmandu before leaving the hostel. Then I told myself that this place was not getting on my way to the Golden Temple of Amritsar and the blue village of Jodhpur.
Finding a motorized rickshaw took me just a few minutes of dry waiting (thanks Goretex) to the way toward freedom. 
 
As for the tips: if you are trying to get out of Delhi to Jaipur at anytime you just have to get to Bikaner House bus station, where buses to all of Rajasthan leave every thirty minutes. 600 rupees will take you to Jaipur without any reservation required, there's always plenty of seats available. The inevitable touts will try to tell you that the station is closed, burned/underwater, invaded by aliens. Insist to go there, pay the pre-arranged price (don't go inside without arranging a price for your destination), pay and leave. Leave a tip only if he's been polite and didn't try to scam you. If he's wearing a turbant he's a Sikh, and definitely more reliable- not very politically correct but so true. 
 This is another thing that I'm really not liking, this place is turning me into a racist. 
 
Rickshaws are dirt cheap but the base price is always twice or three times what it should be. Don't fall for the daily proposal of a big deal, keep in mind that 650 rupees take you on a 8 hour bus ride on a high quality vehicle. 50 to 150 rupees is a fair price.
Alright, back to my bus ride. Never getting enough of them after the 8 hours spent on the way to Agra yesterday.
 
Then the bus departed and I let go a huge breath of relief. Farewell Delhi.
The road to Jaipur is quite beautiful: once left the urban decay all you see are green landscapes and small buildings on the side of the motorway, offering food and drinks at any time of the day.
  
The land ultimately got drier, though not desertic as expected; still, camels roam around the place.
 
Arrived at Jaipur itself... Let's say that there was a circumstance where I really needed to buy antibiotics and the person sent me out since I didn't want to purchase a suncream along with them. Not even street information for the hostel that was exactly behind the building.
  
I couldn't hold my tongue and yelled at "Doctor" Patel (better known as parvenu in France) to be ashamed for this nouveau riche attitude ruining the reputation of his country. None of the other people in the pharmacy raised an eyebrow. Again and again, collected my thoughts and kicked away the need to... do what, anyway? Scream for help? Not enough money for that. Several well dressed people on the road shrugged their shoulders and walked back into their homes. What the hell. 

Ironically the only ones that helped me for free were the rickshaw drivers. These days I have the feeling that poverty has way more dignity than this disgusting middle class attitude some people have. And there you go, finally one of them pointed at the guesthouse and waved goodbye. Thank you mister.
 
My new accommodation is wonderful. Smiles and handshakes, everybody is nice. Took a while but at last some politeness for free. Hope it lasts. 
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