I WAITED UNTIL THE LAST SECOND BEFORE RETURNING TO DELHI. Delhi still gives me nightmares and although the monuments are worth visiting, the city is too wearisome for a foreign traveler.
On my last day in India, I already had plans for my next visit brewing in my head. Due to the floods, I did not get to visit Ladakh and Kashimiri valleys this time. From traveler’s tale, I’ve heard so many good things of the Goan beaches and Kerala’s backwaters. I want to experience South India’s hospitality and food, as well as visit the holy cities of Varanasi and Bodhgaya. With so many places to cover, I think I have to make up at least 2 months to come back in the future.
To me, travel has always been a necessity in life. Be it local or international destinations, going for a trip on a regular basis frees my mind and gives me inspirations. I even have plans for a lengthy one-year trip coming up as soon as I settle the financial, family and career part.
Looking back at the one month spent here, I have to confess that India brought me more difficulty than comfort. But my enjoyment comes from the daily cultural shocks that I have even until today, and from the interesting people that I meet occasionally. The traditions and religions seen here repeatedly challenge my thoughts, altering many of previous perceptions of family relationships and devotion to faith.
I WAS CHEATED YET AGAIN BY THE TUK-TUK DRIVER. At the Delhi bus station, the driver and his bunch lied to me that the airport is 30km away and asked for Rs 300. According to my book, it was at most 10km away and so I requested to decrease the fare to Rs 100. After bargaining for more than 10 minutes (and with several nearby drivers), I had to settle with Rs 150. But, when I got to my destination, the trip took 7km, much less than the 30km that he claimed. I paid my fare reluctantly, but had to laugh at the fact that although India is strenuous, this also my last day here.
I now recall all the slums and dirty streets in Delhi, and the transition into ultra modern and efficient airport terminal. Such huge differences occur similarly in its people and land, and that is why India is ranked as one of the most all-in-one destinations in the world. I have done justice to only one quarter of India, and three quarters more to explore. As I fly back home, I have to now add another item on my to-do list — ‘Come back to India soon’.
I managed to visit on of the fancy emporiums in New Delhi. Although similar to those in Malaysia and Taiwan, the security here is insanely strict. Baggage checks and metal sensors at all entrances.
Had one too many bad experiences with the tuk-tuk (not this particular one)