I finally arrived (really tired) in Delhi and I found a nice hostel in the Paharganj district which is not far away from the Main Bazar.
The way to the hostel was some adventure for itself. It happened one of the bad stories, you always read about in every guide and page. But the bad guys did not win in this case, further they lost some money.
I went after my arrival, as used to from Thailand, to a pre-paid Taxi counter and paid 395 Rupees. From my experience are pre-paid Taxis always a good choice when you arrive freshly in a foreign country you never been before. The price is fixed and you don’t have to bargain after an exhausting and long trip.
Having the bill for the pre-paid taxi in the pocket I went straight to the taxi stand. One indian guy “welcomed” me to find the right taxi. That’s the beginning of my small odyssey with the tourist cheaters.
The guy begun to tell me, that the New Delhi Train Station (my actual destination which is not far away from Paharganj) is a very bad place. Further, he told me that the train station is closed because of a public holiday and upcoming elections. I told him that I want to see it with my own eyes. He got really angry, I think because he realized that he cannot convince me to go to another (expensive) place where he will get commission.
The helpful man got also on the taxi and seemed to know the driver very well. I did not perceive this as strange because this happened to me also in other countries. But the things went strange when I began filming with my GoPro. The guy became angry and nervous telling me: “Stop filming, this is not allowed inside Taxis”. I slowly began to wonder if this situation is normal.
It smelled even more of a rip-off when the driver suddenly pretended that the car was broken and we cannot continue our drive. Actually, he just let the clutch jump and started the care without hitting the clutch. Coincidentally, just a footstep away, there was a TukTuk with its driver waiting. Actually, this TukTuk was waiting for me to continue this weird odyssey.
The TukTuk driver continued the story about elections and the public holiday. I kept telling him that I want to see it with my own eyes. He drove me to a train station but it was not the New Delhi train station but rather some other – really – closed train station. One fake Indian Railways Officer was waiting for apparently there and told me again and again the same story. He told me that the TukTuk driver should bring me to a “real” “”Government””-Tourist information. Effectively, this was just a complete fake role play to get my money.
I consulted my travel guide again about the public holidays in India while driving to the “”Government”” Tourist Information. There was apparently no holiday as I thought. This was clear before to me but I wanted to make it really 100% sure.
I’ve met a couple from Argentina on the arrival that was almost signing for this fake stuff. I told them that I am really sure that this is fake and there is no public holiday. We decided to go together to Paharganj since it should not be fare away.
All people from this fake tourist information became really angry because I convinced the couple to check out Paharganj together. So they lost almost secure money because of me.
The shorten the story: This was all fake and the New Delhi Train Station was open and there were a lot of free hostels. As usual, on the way to the hostels a lot of indian guys talked to use because they “knew” the “best” places which are the “cheapest”. Usually they get commission and the hostels get more expensive if you go with them to a place. So it’ better to find a Hostel on your own.
These have been the first 10 intensive hours and the first experience of India. Delhi welcomed me with its hard side, new diverse smells, culture shock and a lot of amazing impressions.
Because of the exhausting day, I was just wandering around in Paharganj. It was also too late to do something real.