India August 18- 21 2011 Part 1


Holly Heck am I really late on this post. I’ve been home from India for almost a year. A Year! So why is my post late, well a few reason. Around the end of March last year the place I had been working at had suddenly closed down and I was transferred to another place that downgraded me from part time/full time hours to 1 shift a week. And having purchases a non-refundable plane ticket to Delhi and being within the group tour’s no refund time period I was stuck trying to pay bills (2 credit cards, rent, cell, internet and tuition) and save up money for spending, transportation to and from the airport and the cost of my visa. Let’s just say a lot of services were not working when I arrived home.

By the time I had paid off my bills so my services were restored (thank god for student loans) I was back in school finishing my final year – well it was suppose to be my final year. During that time I had travel to New York City twice, visited Boston, Washington, Ottawa and Montreal and countless other cities along the way of these road trips. Some how in between the studying and traveling I manage to fall in love.  Oh and did I mention a book – actually 2 books.

But now schools over till January, more trips on the horizons. I am taking sometime to write for the blog that I loved so much.

August 18 2011- August 20th:

I took the early morning train from Brantford to Toronto. When I arrived at Toronto I took the shuttle bus to the airport. I was early and had to wait for check in to open. I was america airlines upgraded me on my flight to NYC and offered me an entire row to myself on FinnAir flight to Helsinki. The flight itself is alot like Helsinki – a little boring.

Eurohostel Room

I spent 26 hours in Helsinki, staying at Eurohostel on Linnankatu. The cleanest hostel I’ve ever seen. My room reminded me of an ilea inspired private dorm room. But who could complain? The bed was comfy, the room was quite, the bathrooms although shared with multiple stalls was still private and clean, and their was an huge flat screen TV that hung above my bed.

I wonder around Helsinki. Like I had mention, Helsinki a little boring. Nice. But not a whole lot to do or see. I spent most of my time around the harbor which I found beautiful. I did however followed a

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Frommer’s walking tour which took me to most of the important sights in Helsinki. I spent some time at the children’s zoo and Suomenlinna Sveaborg.

On my last day there I went ate breakfast in the market before I set off to see the zoo. It was early so I sat alone at a table underneath an orange tent eating my waffle. I hear a commotion. I looked up to see a tour group of Asian tourist lined up taking a picture of me eating a waffle alone in a Finnish market.

That night I headed back to the airport for my 8pm flight to Delhi. That flight I was so fortunate to have a entire row to myself.

 

August 21  20122

I arrived incredibly early in Delhi (5:30am). After deplaning I made my way through the long, hot, humid arrival lounge to customs.  I stood in long lines waiting for my chance to go an agent who as usual would only keep me there long enough to look at my visa and stamp my passport and waving me through. The benefits of being a Caucasian Canadian female, I guess. We’re not seen as a threat by custom guards. Before leaving the airport I exchange my Canadian money into Indian Rupees at the exchange both to the left of the exit.  I lugged my pack onto my back and made my way through the exit into taxi area, immediately getting hit with the heat and humidity that made the air thick and hard to breath. I crossed the road and got inline to by a prepaid taxi. Getting hassled every second by men who try to get me to come with them to their cab.  I paid for my cab and before I could pick up my bag a man had grabbed it urging me to follow him to the next cab in line. He through my bag in and helped me get in – and demanded a tip, in euros. He would not leave until I handed over my last 1 euro coin.

The taxi ride itself was interesting. The cars were old, even by 3rd world standard. The driver zig zaged bus way through the streets narrowing missing street vendors along side the road, dogs, cows and people and other cars. I sat in the back clutching my bag, praying that I would make it to the airport alive. The driver wasnt really sure where the hotel was and stopped to ask random people for directions.

When I got to the hotel a man carried my bag from their sister hotel and waited patiently for me to check in to be tip. That’s the thing in everyone expects one. Even the man who took my bag, took 2 steps and put it in the car demanded euros when I offered him a 1 rupee coin.

Once in my room after paying 720 rupees to check in I slept from 7:30-1pm. I ordered room service. I stayed in my room only venturing out to the hotel reception to see if they had a plug adapter.

The tour meeting was at 5pm where I met my group. All girls minus one guy. We went to dinner a few street over at a family resturant. The tour guide left us there after a bit. Me and some of the other girls went to buy water and to find an ATM. We got lost trying to find our hotel in streets filled of men that stared at you as walked through. Two of the girls wore revealing outfits by Indian standards that causes us even more attention.

My roommate didn’t arrive till 6pm ish nor did she come to dinner. I gave her a huge scare that night. I had fallen asleep and was having a nightmare where I was on a stair well that had gone black and all I could feel was openness. I was scared in my dream so I had started to yell for help. However once my roommate turned the lights on I found my sitting up right in my bed screaming for help. I looked over at her sitting in her bed with a freaked out looked on her face, asking me alright, telling me I had been screaming at the top of my lungs.

**** Stay tuned for part 2*****

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