(6.2) Incredible India - The Rip-off

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Feb 5, 2017 02:59
“Wait a sec. Only ten grand? I should’ve seen this coming!” I was pissed. I twisted my head sideways, wanting to check Wang’s reaction. It turned out that he was concentrating hard, trying to listen – his English wasn’t good and he had no idea what was happening. I proceeded to nudge his thigh under the table to alert him of this rip-off. But he just eyed me with a blank expression. I had an impulse to speak Chinese to Wang. “But what if that man understands Chinese? We are strangers in an unfamiliar place. We’d better avoid any possible conflicts.” But now my mind was racing ahead.

Dammit! Let this big brother do it alone. I braced myself and cut off his stream of words. “Thank you sir! That sounds interesting! But, we just want to buy train tickets.”

Disappointment flashed across his face. He then cleared this throat and went on. “Sir. The trains here are always crowded. You can enjoy yourself on our luxury bus!” His enthusiasm continued unabated.

“We’re budget travelers." I responded. "We are so strapped. Besides, we’ve already booked our hotels. The only thing we need is a few train tickets.”

Bouncing back and forth, this conversation lasted a couple of minutes. Every time this glib guy exhorted me to buy his service, I played naïve and maneuvered the flow of conversation back to the train tickets. I even conceded to pay twice the price of the ticket if he could get one, but he didn’t seem interested at all. In the end, the man’s face suddenly darkened, and he waved his hand, saying, “We don’t have the train tickets! You should go someplace else.”

I was flooded with relief. “We can leave now! Haha,” said I, tugging Wang’s clothes. I raced outside, followed by Wang. A heat wave washed over me and sweat broke out all over my body. But I enjoyed it, as if every single pore of my body was basked in a wind of freedom.

I saw the driver waiting outside, and I said to him, “I’m sorry sir. They don’t have the tickets. Please drive us back to the Central Station.” We kept silent all the way back. When we reached the station, I gave him 60 rupees--twice the price of the trip to the agency--as a tacit apology that he had earned no commission from this errand.

Wang and I had already booked the tickets from Delhi to Jaipur online, but we still needed to buy the tickets from Jaipur to Agra reserved for foreign tourists in New Delhi, and we hadn't made it yet. We’d planned to leave New Delhi for Jaipur that afternoon, and the train would leave in three hours. Worse still, the station where the train was to depart was located on the other side of the city. We had no idea what to do.

(We later found that India was actually very safe. The governemt made much of an effort to protect tourists. I appreciate that. )







在印度之行出发之前,我和小王就已经在网上买好了新德里到斋普尔的票了,我们主要还需要买从斋普尔到阿格拉的外国游客票,但还没有买到。我们计划的是那天下午就要离开新德里去斋普尔。只有三小时火车马上就要开了,而且火车出发的火车站不是这个central station,在城市的另一角。我们不知道该怎么办。
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