– I will wait for you at the corner of that street. Sanjiv, my taxi driver, points to a street full of people, taxis, rickshaws, tuk-tuks, noise, dirtiness and never-ending street selling points…
– Ok, I hope, I will find you. I step out of the car at the main train station of New Delhi with a very insecure feeling. -Oh my God!! My trembling body, schocked not only by the high temperatures, gets into the multitude of people not really knowing where to go. Suddenly I see a poster next to a staircase: International Reservation Office.
People, dogs, bags and objects of all kinds lay on the floor. I do not even dare to look at the faces of the people. I just go run straight upstairs. A sleepy dog captures my attention while searching for the office announced on the poster downstairs. Everything looks like part of an old Bollywood movie -actually I never watched one-. Before this crazy #roundtheworltrip began, many people gave me all kinds of opinions about India -either you love it, or you hate it-, but there I was, with my more-brown-than-ever-impressed eyes seeing it in person.
The International Reservation Office is old, very old, and a couple of ventilators hanging from the ceiling move the intense air available in the room. “Thanks God, I have enough rupees with me because that guy is not accepting credit cards”. After almost one hour waiting, and hoping intensively to be in the right place, I get out of the office with my train tickets to Agra: one of the reasons for coming to India was visiting the Taj Mahal.
I go downstairs -the sleepy dog looks at me bored and without any expectation- and as I leave the train station, the heat slaps me in the face and my heart is about to jump out of my chest: car horns everywhere, people approaching me and shouting at the same time:
– Do you want a ride? Where are you from? Cab? Where are you going? Market there!
– No thanks. I ignore everybody politely and continue my way without looking at the faces of the people. Chispa is totally out of service and Dora has one single priority: to find the car of Sanjiv.
– “Where is he? I am exactly at the corner that he told me.” I look to the right, to the left, to the front, back to the train station. I see again the board of the International Reservation Office. I don’t dare to look down to the people laying on the floor… “And now what?” When I am kind of starting to think of a plan B, suddenly I see Sanjiv in the distance waving and coming to me.
– “Oh my God!” I almost hugged him…
That day, Sanjiv became my personal taxi driver for the rest of my stay in Delhi. My naive wish to discover the city walking through the streets and taking the bus and the metro -as I always do- disappeared immediately. After hard price negotiations with him -basically I accepted the amount of money he asked me for-, he drove me and waited for me at the most beautiful places from the Old and New Delhi.
My dearest surreal readers, it is difficult for me to put into words what I felt from the very first minute I set foot in India: unfortunately, not a nice feeling.
Anyway, here we are, so let us get the best out of it… Besides, we have two train tickets, right?!
Next stop: Agra (Taj Mahal)
|The taxi from Sanjiv at the Indian Gate|
|Man in white thinking|
|Protective colorful mother|
|Jama Masjid mosque|