Premise: Our friends – Sarah and Lisa are visiting us for 10 days and we are planning a tour of North India with them.
Disclaimer: I am donning a ‘Details hat’
Date: 26th Dec, 2007
9:30AM, our home: We all enjoyed tasty dosas with coconut chutney. Lisa love coconuts and she loved the Chutney. We got busy packing and I was spazzing for a while as my mom thought I was left out last in packing my bag.
12:00PM, Hyderabad Airport: Sarah is surprised about the lax of security at the Airport. No one asked her any ID or anything. She could totally have been someone else and still fly to Delhi. Some lady try to cut us in our line and Sangita yelled at her.
4:00PM, Delhi Airport: Hustling to find a taxi to rent for the rest of the day. Hertz says – 2500Rs, some other guy – 2000Rs. Finally we settle down to Delhi Tourism dept or something who rented the car for 1200Rs. We were meeting our friends – Jacob & Vinitika for dinner later at night. So after calling them, we figured that we should head towards Haus Khaz.
We meet our first good driver – Umesh from Karnataka. He explains a lot of things to us about Delhi and understands and speaks good English. On our way we stop by to get some Dollars exchanged – 1$ == 38.40Rs. So as we were travelling to Haus Khaz – there was this biker who was driving ahead of us and suddenly out of nowhere he drives on a stone/something on the road and flips over, make s somersault and hits the lamp post. The most brutal accident I ever witnessed. Sarah being seated in the middle watched it too and we were all horrified. We talked to the driver about informing police, and he said we can do so if we plan to stay in the Police station that night. We were just speechless for next 30 mins till we reached Hauz Khas.
6:00PM, Hauz Khas: We are all shocked to see how fancy that place was. Pretty boutiques, nice apartments, restaurants and some really really beautiful people. For a moment we were thinking that we are in the village area of NYC. Delhi is damn good. We were all in love with it. Hyderabad has no where near to Delhi.
We walked around and waited for our friends. Finally Jacon and Vinitika arrived and we decided to go out for some drinks and dinner.
7:00PM, Gola bar: We had good time over drinks. Sarah was tired and Lisa was fading away. Me and Jacob had some good discussions about how our working patterns are changing. After our drinks we head out to a ‘Chettinad’ Restaurant and have some Appam and Chicken Gassi. Everyone loved the food.
10:00PM, Goodbyes: We had some nice paan and then bid goodbye to Jacob and Vinitika. Vinitika got us a room to stay for 1 night in Delhi. Since we thought we will be in only for couple of hours, we should go with a cheap hotel.
10:30PM, Pahargunj, Delhi: As our driver took through the narrow and dirty streets of Pahargunj to find our hotel. This was a totally sketchy place. Sarah, Lisa and Sangita were already scared to be there. As we stopped to ask for directions at a place. One weird guy just pounded on our car – to which everyone shrieked. His name was “Pappu Pager”. He was promising us a place to stay and would never shut up. She tried to grab my phone from me as I was talking to the hotel people. He was high and drunk and just yap away. It was kinda fun to watch him move, shake and twitch. Our friends refused to get out of the car till we see someone from Hotel to come pick us up.
Finally someone turns up and takes us to the hotel room.
11:30PM, Hotel Star Paradise, Pahargunj, Delhi: We check into a room. Since we were planning to stay there for just 4 hours we all stayed in 1 room. The rent for the room was 400Rs + 200Rs for extra bed. Once we are in, this guy brings in a extra cot and some really really dirty mattress. I was so ‘excited’ to sleep on it. Our American friends refuse to even use the blankets from the hotel.
12:30AM, our hotel room, Delhi: We figured that we won’t get tickets to ‘Shatabdi Express’ next day heading out to Agra. So, I call Umesh to get a price quote from Delhi -> Agra -> Jaipur. Finally after a little bit of haggling, we decide on a price: 7200Rs for taking us from Delhi to Agra and then to Jaipur and then staying with us in Jaipur for 2 days till we board the train for Dharmashala.
4:30AM, our hotel room, Delhi: Sarah didn’t sleep at all. We were awake and getting ready. There was no hot water – so we all took cold showers. Imagine – Delhi, early morning and it was freezing like hell. We all took ice chilled cold water baths. Damn. I was quite pissed off but as Sarah, Lisa and Sangita started to make jokes about the hotel and how we are all scared to be there, I became ok about it. They were all very sportive about it we checked out of the nasty shit hole.