Blog 1: Slum-doggin it! + Music Video
Trip Start Dec 10, 2009
45Trip End Jan 14, 2010
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Having rested up, we created a plan. We had no guide/Lonely Planet for New Delhi, so we spoke with the guy next to us that owned a home there. He gave us some pointers and then we did our usual, which when entering a new country goes something like this: go through immigration; then baggage claim; then the bathroom; then exchange some currency; and finally, find a cab, which is usually the most daunting process of all for a new traveler. If you haven’t traveled abroad it is hard to explain, but I will cover that at another time.
We went to the first bank we saw inside the airport and we were going to convert some cash into rupee, but they wanted an $8 conversion charge, which is way too much money. We left that bank and went to the one next door and they charged nothing, which meant we just saved the cost of our room for the night. Afterward, we went with the prepaid “Easy Cab” which was located at a kiosk inside the airport and we’re able to locate a guest house for $12 a night next to the main bazaar and the local train station with help from the taxi place.
Then we stepped out into Delhi
We made for our taxi and were promptly intercepted by a guy that claimed to be a driver for Easy Cab. We showed him our receipt and he motioned to his friend to grab the car and load us up. He did not have any Easy Cab identification and at the same time, both Annie and I saw the Easy Cab and its driver, about 20 feet away. We walked past the guy trying to scam us and made toward the Easy Cab guy and when the Easy Cab guy saw the other guy trying to scam us, he got mad and argued with him for a moment and then all of a sudden, they made nice and the first guy started loading our bags into the Easy Cab.
Now we were thinking, 'Great, here we go again.’ It was a half hour ride to the place and just like we thought, once we got to the area the first guy that tried to scam us into his own cab said, “We cannot find the place you are looking for; it is alright, we go to the tourist-info office and they will help.”
Here is the rub: they go to the “free” tourist place and the guy inside tells you that the place you are looking for is either out of business, closed for the holidays, or overbooked
Since they knew we’d called their bluff, we again attempted to find our guesthouse. This time they stopped about a block and a half away and told us they could go no further. It was the middle of the night and the place looked pretty seedy. We told them to drop us off in front of the “Rak International Hotel” because that was what we paid for; we had no idea where it was and their pointing did not help. They told us their car would not fit down the street, but Annie pointed at all the other cars and again asked them to just drop us off where we were supposed to go. A cop pulled up behind us and hit his sirens, which forced them to proceed after driving another block and we saw our guesthouse.
The first scammer realized he was not getting any money out of us and so he tried one last time
Welcome to India… we had gained our street-creds in Bangkok and this time when they asked us to pull down our pants and take it, we refused. Not even the “tourist-info” bit caused me to loosen my belt or unbutton my pants, not one little bit. Nope, our pants are still up as we’ve got $18 worth of rupees that would have been gone had we not been through this all before. It is kind of exciting; now we are off to explore India while trying to keep our pants above our knees.