ON ROUTE TO INDIA
Feeling GOOD! Getting here was ok – thought there might be lots of hassle, delays etc but it was pretty uneventful. The first Indian I met is called Gurpal, he’s a commercial lawyer who practices both in Melbourne and Delhi and he said that there’s nothing going on in Melbourne in terms of commercial law compared to India…he spends most of his time in Delhi. He said Aussies just wanna drink beer and sleep! Haha! So funny how we have these stereotypes, isn’t it?! Its simply not true, all the Aussies I know wanna drink beer, sleep AND go to the beach, surf, watch footie, play netball and throw prawns on the BBQ.
Gurpal said Delhi is so exciting and is a buzzing hive of innovation and competition. Made me realise Australia really is chilled out – I’m a big stress head sometimes and I thought, imagine if I lived in Delhi?! Think I’ve found a haven in Australia.
Peer is another Indian guy I met. He walked straight up to me in Delhi domestic airport and asked me to change my flight and travel with him for a few days! He was being serious…imagine if I actually accepted his offer…I wonder if people ever do things like that….
Another lovely Indian I met is called Shashi and I met him on the plane to Goa. He’s so sweet and we’re gonna meet this evening to watch the sunset and have a few beers.
Plane coming into Goa
Some things that are very different…
When I got to Delhi I had to queue for ages to get my passport stamped – the e-visa queue was big. It took ages and by the time I got out all the bags were GONE! It did cross my mind in the queue that my bag would come out and just be going round and around and therefore be easily picked up by a random.
When I went searching for it and it wasn’t on any carousel I did have a teeny internal stress out. But I went to speak to the baggage guy and he said I’d find it on the end of the carousel. I did indeed find it there among lots of other bags and it was surrounded by about seven Indian men – in a kind of circle…they were guarding them. It turns out to free up the space on the belt they take them off and protect them. Pretty vigilant…very different.
I had to get a domestic flight to Goa from Delhi and to get to the domestic terminal there’s a shuttle bus. It was rickety local bus and when I stepped on all the passengers, all men, just stopped what they were doing and stared…and stared…and stared. Was a little funny to be honest – I kept giggling – didn’t really help them to get bored of staring. Bet they were like: ‘The strange white thing also makes strange noises’ haha!
LOTS OF PEOPLE, LOTS OF STAFF
When I got to the domestic airport the first thing I noticed was the amount of staff there…you had to queue just to walk in the main front door so there were loads of staff there, there were tonnes of runners rushing messages around and there were tonnes of ground staff. But it was still a bit chaotic. There Are loads of wait staff too, just loads of people everywhere. There’s so many staff in general at all the commercial places here – Gurpal said India believes that humans resources are their biggest asset and that’s why you see so many people working…and with wages being so low, I guess businesses can budget for it.
Also I had to rebuy my flight and I didn’t have the card it was bought with (I booked through and agent so didn’t have it) it was only $80 though and hope to get it back.
DRIVE FROM THE AIRPORT
Oh my! India looks just like all the photos and movies you see around. If anyone’s seen the film, Lion…it’s just like where Saroo lives – little villages in India are tiny huts held together with rope and bit of scrap materials. Loads of dust mounds everywhere and waste materials. I didn’t get a photo as I was in a super fast crazy cab.
I went for the Pre Paid cab option and I highly recommend any travellers to do that too as taxi drivers try to have you over…it’s just their way. It cost 1270 rupees about an hour’s drive.
HERE’S MY NUMBER
I bought a sim at Delhi airport so have an Indian number and also 4G Yay! Shashi told me they had me over with the price…said it should have been half the price but that’s like $6 lost…not a big deal. SO CHEAP HERE!
All the india’s I’ve met immediately gave me their numbers and told me to call them if I need help. They’re so friendly and nice.
All the uber drivers too in Australia who I told I was going gave me their numbers too and said for me to call them if there’s trouble. I thought they were doing it because they were worried but it’s just a cultural thing here. They just give their numbers out to people and offer help. Their community spirit is at another level!
My Indian friends keep texting me and checking in, it’s nice having calls and texts coming through.
So far I’ve just been blown away by how interesting and chaotically beautiful it is here. Can’t wait to see more…