Welcome to India

Friday 04 November 2016 – Jaipur, India.

Warning – culture shock! They should put that underneath the sign at the airport that says Welcome to India. I am pretty sure that no matter how much you prepare to come to India for the first time, no matter how much research you do, how many Youtube clips you watch or friends you speak to; when you get onto the streets you will find it is all overwhelming. I did anyway.

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A usual I left home early and took two tube trains out to Heathrow.  I was glad it was post rush hour as lugging a back pack and camera bag on the tube is no fun at all. I have decided to take the DSLR backpack travelling for the first time, with three lenses, it is big and heavy and awkward. Hopefully it will be worth it. I am also taking the pocket camera, just in case. My carry on camera bag weighs significantly more than my pack.

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I was taking three flights, the first,  to Abu Dhabi, was just over six hours. It was a really nice flight, good service and the meal was actually excellent! I watched some really terrible films (Star Trek, Central Intelligence, and on my neighbours screen – The Shallows. I did not need the sound for The Shallows.) I also started watching the BBC series The Night Manager, which was great. Sadly they did not have it on the next leg.

It was a quick turn round before I was on my next flight, a three our trip to Delhi. It was not too bad either, though the chap next to me started snoring about 5 minutes after we took off, so it was head phones all the way. I watched the new Ghostbusters film. It deserved the terrible reviews it got.

the landing in Delhi was through a dense layer of low cloud, though once off the plane I discovered it was not low cloud. Just stinking, eye burning smog. Gross.

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The journey through immigration and baggage was slow, luckily I had 4 hours until the connecting flight to Jaipur. I picked up a sim card for my mobile and some Indian Rupees. It took eight attempts on the ATM, they work differently to UK ones, and I had to use my UK card which was annoying as I was planning on spending NZ money as right now it is worth more !

I was pleasantly surprised by the domestic terminal at Delhi, really nice. Clean, comfy and not a rip off compared to other airports. Well done Delhi Airport. The flight to Jaipur seemed to take about 10 minutes, up and down, it was well under the scheduled hour. Being a smaller prop-jet it was the bumpiest of the three flights and there was not a lot to see out of the window, very hazy below.

I had arranged a pick up from my hotel, which I was not charged for. Given my hotel was £13 a night I was surprised! The journey was my culture shock moment. I am so glad I did not try and get a bus, it would have been just too much. Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan – more on it in my next post. It is the biggest city in Rajasthan, but not huge. But it was rammed, cars, bikes, motorbikes, people walking, dogs, cows, buses, trucks. Everything. Makes Hoe St in rush hour look like an early Sunday morning. Everybody honks all the time, it is not so much an aggressive, retaliatory act here – more a warning of ‘I am coming, look out’. There are lane markers on some of the roads, pointless. No one drives in lanes. Indicators – pah, don’t need one, There is a horn. I didn’t take any photos out of the cab as I was just trying to absorb it. Plus, the pollution was really bad there as well.

I settled into my hotel and had a bit of an early afternoon lie down. I had been awake for over 24 hours. After a few, very short, minutes I got changed, grabbed a map and left the building. At least I got to wear my ‘travelling in hot, dirty countries where I do not know anyone clothes.  It has been too long since these saw the light of day. Some may say this is a good thing.

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Exploring time! 

This may be the last post for a couple of days. I want to post more of Jaipur, but the internet is quite slow where I am now and I have a few photos to go along with the text.

About wheresphil

Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, now living in London.
This entry was posted in Blog, India, South Asia. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Welcome to India

  1. arv! says:

    Enjoyed reading this post as well. Your writing is simple and fluidic, makes a good read!

  2. Bill Waters says:

    Thanks for the memories! My entry city and first tuk-tuk was Delhi, so the culture shock was even greater. I remember one of my post cards home just consisted of all the different animals that I saw in the streets.

    • wheresphil says:

      🙂 I know what you mean Bill. I am constantly amazed at not just the volume, but the variety of animals in the street, and how deferential the people are to them, especially the cow.

      I am so glad I did not have to do Delhi first, Jaipur was crazy enough for me. Though arriving tonight into rush hour Jodhpur was pretty intimidating. I am very glad I have travelled before!

      Though the fumes…. terrible!

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