India Culture Shock - Travels through the sub-continent India

Our trip started in a very cold london.It took us exactly one day to realise why we left!cold,wet and expensive, and of course the lack of smiles. It was a busy few days so it passed quickly and before we knew it we were on the plane to Delhi. We landed at about 1.30 am,little tired but excited. After picking up our luggage we set off to the pre-paid taxi counter.

Now, I thought we were quite well prepared,armed with our guide book,we headed off and like true backpacker virgins got scammed. Yes, i believe its a necessary experience for first timers as Delhi is a 'scamming-for-commision' haven and you gotta learn fast.

Our taxi couldn't find the hotel and took us to an all-night "official" tourist office. I thought they were being kind by putting us through to the hotels,but it turned out that they put us through to someone else...who told us there's a festival in Delhi and there's no room for us!!So around 3am we were calling all the cheap gueshouses in our book and same story! We ended up having to stay in a 30Euro hotel...which is quite expensive for india.The next day around noon,quite pissed and tired,we headed off to the guesthouse we were supposed to stay at, to have a word with the turns out that he was expecting us the previous evening,had rooms availabe,and I realised it definately wasn't him we were talking to the previous evening!

It is a horrible feeling to be so helpless in a foreign place.we couldnt' do what we wanted cos we didn't know where we were-but now all's better...we have our power and independence back and the last2days of exploring has been fantastic. Delhi is all that it's made out to be...tons of people,organised chaos,& a sticky&dirty city.It's crazy driving around cos there's so much noise!Here vehicles hoot to make others aware of their presence cos there's no lines in the road and if there were they wouldnt have a purpose,so there's just cars and people everywhere,and crossing the road is an experience in itself cos you're playing chicken with busses,taxis and bikes! It's 30degrees celsius by 6am and one needs at least3showers a day.

Everyone's trying to sell you something!of course we stick out like sore thumbs...but we're thoroughly enjoying this experience.We spent the first couple days getting our bearings and roughly planning our trip around india,so now there is some kind of a plan.You'll discover it as we go along ;-))) We are leaving for the 'pink city' of Jaipur tomorrow by bus at 6am .It's 5hour bus ride so we gotta rest our behinds. 10 April So here we are in Jaipur...what an assault on the senses india is...we went for a walk around town and it just gets too much!

The constant touching,begging,wanting to offer any kind of service for baksheesh(tip),trying to sell things you dont want. Its overwhelming and invasive...a bit like a colonic without permission! We're staying in a guesthouse which is a palace compared to the last one.We're surrounded by the flower children of the new millenium,floating around the gardens strewing petals and others trying to play the didge. Went for a day of sightseeing and there's some spectacular ones here.Went to the Amber Palace and also to Galta-monkey temple...what a fantastic experience. But am happy to be back at the guesthouse cos im feeling a bit like a prune....we're just not built for this climate.Its few months before monsoon and everything is bare and dry and dusty.

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