Right now I’m on my way to change the whole plan I had worked on months ago regarding my solo trip to India. As you might imagine that infected my nerves even more, mainly because I was supposed to volunteer in Guwahati, a part of India that after all I ended up not visiting. And I was so excited about this place. It’s not very touristic but it has wonderful cascades nearby. I even had an airplane ticket to Guwahati that I never used. So, now disappointment and sadness join the other bunch of feelings that were up in the air at the moment.
Lesson number one: never make decisions that will affect your journey on the day of arrival under stressful feelings. Your brain can’t think properly so you will end up making bad decisions, or get into a scam.
I’m still at the train station walking from side to side starting to despair when I find this one guy that speaks English. I felt like he was my lifesaver. I was so thankful just for the fact that he exists. He was super friendly. Showed me on a map where I should go to buy this train ticket. After giving me directions, I think he noted that I was so confused and scared that he took me to a tuk-tuk driver advising me that I should only ride tuk-tuks with the inscription – CNG – those are from the government, other ones are particular and not so safe. He tells this tuk-tuk guy to drive me to the travel agency, supposed to be the only place where I can buy train tickets: not true, but I didn’t know so I followed. I don’t remember the name of this agency, I just remember it was something like DDTS.
How is it possible that I didn’t notice that was a travel agency scam until a few hours later after sleeping and eating? Honestly, I think I was brainless during the first hours of my stay in Delhi. Everything hit me so hard that I wasn’t thinking properly. If not, how is it possible that knowing train prices in India I ended up paying 8 times more and wouldn’t mind giving this agency all the money I had planned to spend during my stay in India alone? The agent even proposed a taxi service to Agra and I considered it has an option, knowing that this taxi would cost all India budget? At least I wasn’t dumb enough to fall on that one, and for 8 times more at least I buy all the train tickets for my journey. I just wanted this guy to take care of things for me no matter what. How the F* will I spend two weeks in this country during a solo trip to India where I can’t see myself for the next few hours?
Yeah, but at least he was a nice guy and also offered me Chai (Typical Indian tea) that I didn’t drink because I was thinking it might be doomed. How couldn’t he be so nice? I was paying him such a big commission for these 3 F* train rides!!!!
Day 1: all plan changed: 1 airplane ticket inside India wasted; scheduled a different city that I never searched about and all India’s budget gone. I swear those 1st hours in India were choking. Not just because of that, but also because of the scenario while riding the tuk-tuk to the travel agency, that wasn’t so pleasant. Another interesting fact, he didn’t want me to stay 2 nights in Delhi, he wanted me to leave sooner claiming that it was a dangerous city. Maybe it was good advice as I have been told by different Indian guys I met on the journey, that I shouldn’t go to Delhi alone. Apparently, not even Indians feel safe in the city…
With a new plan designed, the next challenge on this never-ending day: getting to a hostel. Well, I haven’t booked any hostel for that day as I was supposed to reach Agra the same day in the evening. Meanwhile, it has been at least 5 hours since my arrival. I think I wasn’t eating for 10 hours. At least the smell of pollution was gone.
I had talked to a guy in Delhi about volunteering in a hostel a week after this day, so I tell the tuk-tuk driver that I want to go there, or another hostel I had booked before getting this volunteer chance. He didn’t know where this volunteering one was, so after insisting much they convinced me to go to the other one. I was really mad because I really didn’t want to stay alone in Delhi and this volunteering would help me out on this matter. But I had no other choice. Didn’t know much. In the way, I was also not feeling so safe because I didn’t know where that person was taking me, so I advise you to have Maps Me or other APP’s or mobile data on your phone so you don’t feel so lost. I didn’t have any: stupid! In the next countries, I always had a sim card: at least I learned something.
It’s a chaotic path this one to the hostel. India traffic is crazy everyone knows, but I have to admit they have some skills. Many times our safe distance to the next tuk-tuk was 1 cm. I’m not overexaggerating! Crazy India. I loved the challenge of crossing the street 🙂
This hostel I was heading to was well located with a very nice restaurant close to it, almost next door: The Tadka. Really good food, good price!!! I advise it. The hostel wasn’t facing the street, and the entrance was looking no good, just like Indian small streets in general. It was looking like a destroyed scenario: everything dirty, falling apart, very old, all the electrical wires, I don’t know how to explain, but at that moment it was terrifying for me. The tuk-tuk driver stops and points to the alley saying: “It’s there”. And I’m like it’s there where? I don’t see it… I see nothing but a tearing apart alley and start panicking with the idea that I had to walk alone through those walls to find this place. He pointed 3 times explaining, I still see nothing so, ok. Let’s leave this tuk-tuk and find this bloody hostel.
I enter the street and walk 10m and see nothing (panic alert) I go back cause I don’t want to get deeper into that street (if you can even call it a street). Some guy asks me if I’m looking for hostel xxx and I say yes, so he points in the right direction and I thank him so much and thank God that I reach a place where I finally feel safe. One thing about India is that I didn’t want to be alone that much, that’s why I was planning to volunteer almost every day of my stay. In this hostel, I got a 4-bed female dorm where was 1 Japanese alone that didn’t speak English. Anyway, she was leaving that same day. I hope someone else checks in meanwhile.
Everything I didn’t want to happen just happened. I stayed alone in that room my first day, the only day I was really wanting some company. I go to sleep cause this feeling was overcoming my hungry. I woke up around 2 PM. If I wasn’t starving I wouldn’t leave that hostel for sure. I mentalized I need to go out and experience the city and get my own conclusions and not judging the country for what people had told me back at home. After getting a tasty meal at the Tadka, I should mention I was feeling better and already blaming myself for what had happened in that travel agency a few hours before. In fact, I still think nowadays how was that possible? But something worst could have happened so I’m totally ok with it. Let’s think it’s just money. But every penny counts in India! I will surely give more value to the small coins like 1 cent, as in India you can buy a pack of 10 cooking for 5 cents. So those coins on the floor that no one cares about, will not go unnoticed anymore.
After ponderating spending my time in Delhi in that hostel room, I decided that I need to see the beautiful things the city has to offer to keep me motivated about my solo trip to India. So, I stop on the street for a tuk-tuk and head to my destinations: Red Fort and Jama Masjid.
At the Jama Masjid you need to pay to take photos. #india #indianphotography #indiagram #indianfood #indialove #delhigram @lonelyplanetindia #indiapictures #wanderlust #travel #trip #travelgram #vacation #instatravel #adventure #travelphotography #delhi #cityviews #awesomeview #spongebob #spongebobsquarepants
After that beautiful must-visit in Delhi, I got back to the hostel before night comes. – To mention: the hostel had dog poop on the corridor, I could hear what neighbors next room were doing at the toilet in their not so private time.-
At the end of the day, I was much more cheered up and feeling India in a different way already. Once I hit the road it was a totally normal day. I already don’t mind staying on a solo trip in India for 2 weeks 🙂
Lesson: overthinking is a great enemy to enjoy your trip.