Hellooo India!!!

I don’t know why everyone’s so up in arms about the problems New Delhi is facing leading up to the Games.

Collapsed footbridges and dirty accommodation? Luxury! Terrorist threats? I mean, really…

If the Commonwealth games people did their research properly, they wouldn’t be in this mess. I’m not being racist… I’ve been to India.

Many people see India as a mystical place to journey to. To sit on a rock, play a pan flute and find yourself (whilst smoking as much hash as your body and brain can take.)…wankers.

My experience was a bit different to that.

Within the first 24 hours of our arrival in New Delhi we were held back at the airport by machinegun toting guards to have our backpacks searched. No problem. We then decided to take the bus instead of a Taxi as we heard of a kidnapping scam and we weren’t going to get ripped off. (Forgetting completely that we were foreigners with bleach blonde hair, piercing blue eyes & other pointy features.) We stood out like dogs balls in the fluorescent glow of the bus lights at three a.m. No wonder the bus was chased by a hundred (no exaggeration) rickshaw drivers to our destination of the Main Bazaar.

The bus driver threw us to the wolves by letting us disembark at the top of the street.

We were surrounded by bodies. Bodies on the side of the road, bodies on the grass… how were we to know they were just sleeping? … BANG! My bag was gone. Thrown into one of the rickshaws by a set of pearly white teeth. A promise was made to take us anywhere we wanted for 5 rupee. Bargain!

“We just want to go down the road, mate.”

“Oh no, very bad. Big fight. Many people dead.” Replied our bobbled headed driver.

“I’ll take you to a safe house”.

We proceeded to drive around the back streets of Delhi, no safe houses available, winding further and further into the labyrinth. Further into the web of deceit.

Our final destination ended up in the back of an old black 1975 Ambassador Isuzu, handing over our American dollars and travellers cheques to the sound of a knife being sharpened on a stone.

Yes, quite frankly I shat myself.

After giving the bearded turban turd all our holiday cash, they gave us a choice of either staying in five star hotel for $700US a night, or for $500US, we could take this Ambassador, with driver, to a town five hours away & continue on our adventure.

We took the latter. Might as well see the countryside.

It was a long night that was made even longer due to the fact that we wouldn’t sleep in the car for fear of being robbed, or drugged by a bottle of Pepsi, left by the side of the road with no identity, no money and to live life as a poverty stricken foreigner for the rest of our days.

The taxi driver off loaded us at a hotel in a small village at the foothills of the Himalayas. Cockroaches, bed bugs, shit stained green walls. What do you expect for two dollars a night? I think they threw the plague in for free.

Our spirit of adventure wasn’t dampened in the slightest. We booked a three day trek up the magestic Mountain range the next day. A 150km journey that took thirteen hours. The overcrowded bus wound it’s way up the mountain road heaving under the swell of bodies. The motion sickness overwhelmed even the most iron gutted man and the trails of sick streamed out the window like a vomit sprinkler system.

Lunch was in a flyblown town. Fly blown due to the lack of a sewerage system. There was shit everywhere! They must have built their houses out of the stuff. I think I ate a shit sandwich, washed down with a watery shit chai tea.

The Himalayas were beautiful. I felt insignificant… and very, very cold.

The further into the country we got the scarier the locals became. Not in attitude. No, no… they were wonderful people. It’s the extreme poverty & sickness that smacks you in the face.

We were meeting people who were missing facial features, babies that were just a head with a lifeless puppet like body… things that you can’t imagine you would see.

After another week of the sweltering heat and the fact that the food was too hot for my precious little tush we decided to move on from India.

Thank God for Nepal!

It’s been fifteen years since that fateful trip. It’s only now that I think…. Hmmmm, I’d like to go back to India.

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