BootsnAll Travel Network

May 27th 2008 – Train to Delhi

 I awoke really early in the morning to blaring music and people telling us to get up to eat breakfast.  Apparently indians wake up early, but I’m not sure why they would want too on a train.  It took me about a solid 2 hours to get up, I was real tired and they gave me breakfast in my bed, how sweet.  Throughout the rest of the ride, I attempted to do some law school reading for class but I kept getting interrupted by the little kids of Akilesh’s family and Vikas.  Eventually I put it away and just played with them and continued to practice my hindi. We arrived at New Delhi Train Station at approximately 530PM, give or take.  This would be a real challenge as I had a lot of stuff, it was a far walk to where the taxis were located and it would be damn hot in Delhi.  If you didn’t know Delhi is the capital of India.  Anyway I tried to walk with Vikas and I managed to avoid most touts until he had to part ways with me.  They told me how much I should probably pay and to just bargain hard.  When I got to the taxi area I called the hotel to ask them to tell the driver where to take me and how much I should pay.  He told me to pay 150 max, but then realized it was rush hour and 200 was more reasonable.  After about 10 minutes of trying to find someone to take me for 200 I did and was off to the hotel to meet my school and start my summer abroad program. The area immediately surrounding the New Delhi train station was a dump.  It was so dirty and nasty just like some parts of Mumbai.  Delhi according to websites is the largest city in the world, based on metropolitian area with upwards of 18 million people.  That’s a lot.  I actually think there is more than 20 million, but who really knows. I arrived at the Jukaso Inn in a very nice part of Delhi where all the tourists apparently stay.  It was fully enclosed area that is guarded at each entrance.  People don’t have guns, but there are security gates at all the entrances.  I got out of the taxi, got my stuff and moved it to the entrance of the hotel.  I immediately saw professor subotnik, my trusts and estates teacher during the past semester and this lady Ann who was friend’s with my constitutional law professor from school, who would be acting as our administrator on the trip. I began chatting with them about where I had gone, what I had been up too, and both offered me a glass of cold beer which I accepted gratefully.  I ended up sitting in the lobby for a while, until Caitlin my friend from Touro came and said hello.  I was so dirty, it was gross.  I hadn’t showered in days, was sweating, and everything I owned just stunk.  I was actually embarassed and had to take a shower as soon as possible.  I excused myself from the lobby and went up to take a shower.  When I opened up the door to the room I exclaimed “holy shit.”  The room was probably the biggest hotel room I’ve personally stayed in, in my life.  I will discount the apartment style 2 bedroom room when the family went to Cairns, Australia, as that was a family room, not my own.  I quickly took of my clothing, threw it to the side and jumped in the shower.  I saw a big bucket and a small bucket and went “hell no!”  I actually thought about using a bucket, but then quickly realized that I should probably reward myself with a regular western style shower.  I look to the right, there is a western toliet with pressure to flush it normally, woohoo! After I got out of the shower, someone opened the door.  It was my roommate Ben Gerber who lives in Michigan and according to Jewish geography knew several people in common.  He knew an old friend of mine Andrea Friedel whose father delivered me.  Small world, even smaller when your jewish though. We began chatting, and then I eventually went downstairs and met caitlin for dinner.  We first walked around the corner where Professor Artusio recommended but we both wanted a better meal so we got an auto to a place on the map that Cait had with her.  We bargained heavily for our price and went on our way.  We ended up stopping at a random place, walked around and found this continental type restaurant that we both found things on the menu to eat.  It ended up being really expensive, really smoky, but as usual Cait and I had good conversation and a good time.  We did get ripped off by ordering some drinks.  They thought we said we wanted a double drink on the rocks, but in reality we only ordered one and the drinks were really expensive. We got an auto back to our hotel.  I had to calm down cait as she was heated about what had happened.  It was funny, at one point she was trying to tell the waiter that she would pay for the double drink but that what they were doing by ripping us off was bad business practice.  I was trying not to laugh and back her up.  I got fired up but it was to no avail, we had to pay the bill which was pricey. Anyway once we got back to the hotel, we said our goodbye and it was time to go to sleep.  We would have to wake up at 645am and eat breakfast by 7am.  Tomorrow would be a long driving day to Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal.


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