So after a year of planning and saving we step off the plane into a completely different culture wondering what awaits us! For the next three hours we do the most british thing ever. We queue. We queue for our passports to be checked in the longest queue ever. Standing in the “foreign passports” queue with all the other brits and americans, but its quick – it’s like a Primark queue – looks worse than it is. After half an hour and nearing the front we find out we are in the wrong queue. If you have the evisa then there is a separate queue – much shorter but twenty times slower. Another 45 minutes then we queue for the visa check (an old man in a chair), queue for baggage, ATM (literally no cash in any of them) taxi then sit in a traffic jam for an hour! So far, so Britain!
It changes when we leave the airport though. The poverty here is obvious – children run in between the cars begging or trying to sell balloons or water. We drive past several slums and people are washing their clothes on the pavement. And man, I have never seen so many dogs foraging for food.
The taxi driver who was meant to take us to the hostel is waiting for another passenger so his mate takes us. Driving here is something else and not for he faint hearted. It is definitely a case of who dares wins! Lord knows how we are going to cross the street I look at my online map (because I’m a clever clogs and downloaded it for offline use) and we seem to be going past where I think the hostel should be. We drive up the busiest road I have ever seen in my life and get out of the taxi into a dark alley. We follow dutifully past a man peeing on a wall and children running around to the hostel. It isn’t the one we booked! It turns out that when you book your hostel there is no point deliberating over little details as we did because most of them are owned by the same company. If there is no room in one they just put you in another. So we are shown our room which is up 4 flights of steep ass stairs and up onto the roof with building work everywhere. There is a hole in the wall. After speaking to them we ask if there is anything else. They say they can give us a much better room at another hotel for no extra cost. We accept. It is soooooooo much worse than the hole in the wall room.
The worst hotel room ever
I wish I knew the name of this to warn people never to go there but it was dark. (UPDATE – found out it is called hindustan)
I tried the sink tap and the water came out of the wall underneath it.
You had to ring up for hot water – however there was no dial tone. The toilet was the worst thing I had ever seen!
We didn’t manage to find an ATM so we had no convertors for chargers or money to buy water or anything. Desperately thirsty I tried out the filter bottles we bought. They are meant to filter out 99.99% of bacteria and viruses. Well I am filling it from the rankest bathroom tap ever in Delhi so if these work it’ll be amazing!!
I half sleep with one eye on the door and one eye on the air conditioning unit (I am sure there are spiders in there). I’m scared of touching anything but my silk sleeper (god I’m glad we bought these). It’s so loud with people shouting and children screaming and someone with terrible taste in trance music. At half 12 there is a banging on the door. I think I hate India 😦 The hotel proprietor has decided that now is a perfectly reasonable time for us to sign in. Hopefully tomorrow brings more normality!