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  • Day197

    New Delhi

    November 19, 2017 in India ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    On our way to Delhi, we encountered the first real travel hick-up of our trip.
    We’d booked a flight out of Jodphur to Delhi (there were no flights from Jaisalmer) so took a 5 hour taxi ride to the airport. Unfortunately, there was so much fog that our flight was cancelled. A manager at Air India informed us that flight cancellations had been happening for the past 4 days due to the weather and that it wasn’t looking good for the next day either. We quickly decided to take a tuk tuk to the rail station to try to find an overnight train to Delhi. After unsuccessfully attempting to buy tickets from several counters and being told they were sold out, we were eventually directed to an India Rail office down the road. While waiting in line, John noticed Rishi – the tuk tuk driver whose wife taught us cooking – in another line a few windows down from us. We said hello and went back to waiting in our respective lines. As we were waiting, we realized we didn’t have enough cash to pay for the tickets if we were lucky enough to get them so John headed to the ATM. The line started moving and it turned out there were 2 tickets available, but Christy didn’t have enough cash. She ran over to Rishi, who gracefully agreed to lend her money for the tickets until John returned from the ATM. Phew! Lucky coincidence.
    The train was delayed by several hours, but we eventually made it onto the train and to Delhi (a 10+ hour trip) a day later.
    This visit to Delhi is very short and we’ll be returning in early December to do some sightseeing and shopping.
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  • Day1


    November 29, 2018 in India ⋅ 🌫 17 °C

    Delhi, man sieht es nicht vor lauter Rauch und Dunst bis man fast schon gelandet ist! Der gesamte Anflug war überhaupt spooky. Laut Uhrzeit musste schon längst die Sonne aufgegangen sein und ich habe noch immer den Vollmond und den dunklen Himmel gesehen! Erst wie die Landung angekündigt wurde wars plötzlich hell und sonnig! Der Vollmond entpuppte sich als Sonne und der Himmel strahlend blau! Hahaha, so ein Fake! Die spielen einen die lange Nacht vor indem sie im Flugzeug die Fensterscheiben so einstellen können, dass sie abgedunkelt sind aber nicht undurchsichtig ! Sehr eigen!
    Die Einreiseprozedur ging rasch und freundlich, nur den Schalter für e-Visa muss man finden, der ist in einem anderen Gang! Und wenn man älter, vertrauensvoller und etwas freundlich ist, dann braucht man auch keine Fingerprints abzugeben! Hurra, ich war das! Alter hat manchmal Vorteile! Das bestellte Taxi war nicht da und ich durfte auch nicht mehr ins Gebäude zurück um drinnen zu suchen, freundlich aber strickt verboten! Es war schnell ein Ersatz gefunden.
    Das Geld macht mir etwas Sorgen, denn man darf nur zweimal pro Karte pro Tag abheben und jeweils nur 10000 Rupien! (125,- €) tja wie ich da auf meine Geldsumme komme die ich für die Inseln benötige, weiß ich nicht!
    Trotz etwas Schlaf im Flieger liege ich jetzt, nach einem herrlichen indischen Lunch, im Guesthouse-Garten in der Sonne herum und schlafe immer wieder ein.
    Für Delhi Verhältnisse ist es hier erstaunlich ruhig! Die Fahrt hierher war typisch indisch: Stau, Staub, Lärm, Durcheinander, Armut, Dreck! Aber der Fahrer des teuren Taxis war sehr nett! Das Guesthouse befindet sich in einem sehr grünen, teuren Wohnbezirk!
    Ich habe noch überteuertes Obst auf einem Stand erstanden wo sie mir falsch rausgegeben haben (gleich beim ersten Einkauf gelinkt und nicht bemerkt! Fängt ja gut an!) und jetzt bewege ich mich aus dem Dämmerschlaf nicht mehr weg!
    Morgen Früh geht’s um 4:00 Uhr wieder zum Flughafen!
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  • Day14

    To India!

    January 28, 2019 in India ⋅ 🌫 15 °C

    Time to leave Sri Lanka. Not in a big hurry today so we took our time in the morning, though breakfast was only a couple of supermarket muffin type things - nothing provided by our hotel. Caught an Uber to the centre of town and then a bus out to the airport, quite cheap and got us there in good time. There's a large Chinese-built expressway that connects the airport with Colombo and nobody uses it since it has a toll!

    Terminal was pretty crowded and the check in was very slow, especially since the guy thoroughly checked our immigration documents for India (visa paperwork etc). I guess they've had issues, and it's the airline's responsibility to fly us back home if we can't get in. Went through emigration and security hoping to have some food on the airside, but the only edible looking thing was Burger King at extortionate prices! Seriously - 16 USD for a Whopper meal!!! That's more expensive than Singapore or Dubai! Admittedly, beef is a rare option here (even though Sri Lanka is mostly Buddhists who don't specifically ban eating beef), but still. We were shell-shocked.

    In the end we found a place selling dodgy sandwiches and we had a couple of those to use up our last Sri Lankan money. Flight left on time at 2pm, and thankfully we had food on the flight. Very full and unfortunately I was stuck in the middle seat again! The guy sitting in the window seat had a serious case of manspreading which kept annoying me.

    Landed in the dark at around 6pm after circling for a while in a holding pattern and breezed through the terminal with no issues. Apparently Delhi is one of the worst airports for taxi scams so we decided to grab an Uber, but I had to rely on the free terminal wifi to call for one, and once we got in the carpark it dropped out! Luckily the Uber-wranglers in the pickup area could call the guy and get him to come back.

    Taxi ride took about 90 minutes to go 10 kilometres, fairly standard for Delhi traffic which is insane. Bikes, rickshaws, cars, buses and trucks filling every possible space and going every direction, constantly blaring their horns. Unlike in Sri Lanka where horn beeping is "I'm here", drivers here seem to be saying "move arsehole" with every toot.

    But we arrived in one piece. Our hostel is way out in the suburbs, realistically it's in what would've been a different city but slowly been subsumed by Delhi's urban sprawl. Certainly somewhere that tourists never go, as it's a long way from any tourist attractions! Loads of people around, constant noise, rubbish, animals etc, but realistically not much different from what we were expecting.

    Once we settled into our room we went back out for food and ate at a nearby hole in the wall semi-street food place. The kitchen basically fronts onto the street so you know that everything is getting cooked as needed. We shared a vegetable biryani (basically fried rice) and some stuffed naan, both of which were extremely spicy. Shared a joke with the guys running the place that it was not spicy for them, maybe a little bit for us! But still a welcome change after mostly bland Sri Lankan food.

    Off to bed, looking forward to getting amongst it over the coming days.
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