Disclaimer: This day was a transit day, so not many pictures were taken but some stories can be told.
We luckily survived Delhi and are on to Varanasi. We hired a taxi from the hotel to take us the airport and we got to the airport in ample time in case we had any challenging surprises. They were extremely strict and rude during the security check. They have the women go in a separate line where you are taken to a covered little section where they pat down your entire body. Indian airport security doesn’t understand the technology behind their expensive X-Ray machines as they make you take everything out of your bag before sending it thru!! Fucking Genius!! But the whole process didn’t take too long so we did get to enjoy our free lounge, but this lounge charged for all alcohol so we stuck to water and got to eat some free food.
You know, Indian transportation systems are not very reliable. You would think that maybe the airlines would be a little bit better, but no… just no. The previous night I got an email from my app TripIt (if you don’t have it and you travel a lot, you should get it), the app reads your emails and automatically finds, organize and track reservations from hotels, flights, tours, etc.. Anyways, we got this email saying our flight time changed to 1.5 hours before… seriously? Jet Airways didn’t even bother to let me know with a nice simple email. At the airport the flight was delayed an hour.
We had planned ahead and asked the hotel to have a driver pick us up at the airport to avoid further scamming, the price difference is maybe $2-$4 more so it’s worth it. It was a smooth and easy process in which we had a guy holding a sign saying Eitan Nudel right when we exited the airport!
The drive was over an hour and we drove through some extremely poor and rural towns, their lives are truly a different existence than anything we know. The diver was a multi religious man as he had a Sikh symbol, some Buddhas (Buddhist) and Ganesha (Hindu) on his windshield, we are learning some much that we notice these things now!
We arrived at our amazing hostel named “Stops”and we very happy. It was filled with young tourists like us and completely catered to making sightseeing easy. They offer all types of tours at around $3 a tour, and have areas to hang out with other travelers in the hostel. Within minutes we were chatting with other travelers and learning about their experiences in India. We thought 6 weeks in India is long but most people we met are spending several months just in India. These people are the super hippy, not the planner type (complete opposite of us) so its fascinating to hear about their travels. This one guy was in Delhi for 2 weeks and we asked him how he liked all the amazing sites and he said he didn’t find time to make it to any sites, he just wandered the streets. We just don’t understand this, Delhi offers nothing but the sites so what the heck was he doing wandering the crazy and hectic streets there!!??? We asked another girl in which this is her 3rd time to India, and she has been here for years, what her favorite food is and she barely knew the names of any of the dishes and just said its all good. We seemed to know more the different types of food and we have been here 4 days… but we are nerds.
Some people were ordering Dominos pizza delivery and we decided to join in as we didn’t want our first time trying to navigate the streets here at night to try and find food. The food was delivered and we paid and all was good. 10 minutes later the guy returns trying to play the oldest trick in the book, he was saying we didn’t pay enough which wasn’t true. Of course we weren’t having it and the guy didn’t want to leave until we pay. Fortunately one girl told us there that if the pizza is 30 min late, its free (the pizza arrived at least 1 hr late). Once we told this news to the delivery guy, he tried to run out of the hostel. We stopped him and told him to stay until we talk to the manager. After Eitan speaking to the Dominos manager and the hotel people getting mad at the delivery guy we ended up getting some money returned to us. Not all, but some.
The funny thing is that they gave us the money inside a brochure that says that if the pizza is 30 mins late it is free. The worst part, is that Dominos charges double tax and another weird tax (which is illegal) on their original receipts, Eitan noticed this before paying but he didn’t want to cause a scene for a couple bucks, after he googled it and it is actually a scam that Dominos has been pulling for a while and most people do not notice. Even ordering a pizza is a challenge here in India. We spent the evening learning more about the ways of others travelers.
Read more about this scam here: http://thelogicalindian.com/my-story/dont-get-cheated-make-sure-you-crosscheck-your-dominos-bill/