(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. )
“什么!还只要1万美金?抢钱啊!”我心中一万只草泥马奔腾而过。我把头一侧,想看看小王怎么想,结果他还听得非常认真,不知道发生了什么事情(他的英语不太好)。我然后在桌子底下,戳了戳他的腿,想告诉他这是在宰客。结果,他扭头看了看我,什么表情也没有。我有一种想和小王说中文的冲动,但回过头一想,“万一那家伙懂中文怎么办?我们人生地不熟的,最好是避免冲突,以退为进。”

那好吧,看哥哥我单打独斗一番也罢。我鼓了一下气,打断那人。“非常感谢您!听起来很棒!不过呢,我只想买火车票。”

那人脸上闪过一丝失望,不过他清了清嗓子,然后继续说道,“先生,问题是这里的火车挤得要死,你还敢坐呀!我们的豪华大巴爽多了。”他的热情丝毫没有减退。

“我们是穷游背包客,手头紧。我们还订好了酒店,退不得。我们现在只要火车票。”

对话传来传去,持续了好几分钟。每次他诱劝我们报团,我就装天真,然后绕回去。最后我还妥协了,只要能帮我搞到票,贵一倍也可以(反正就几十块),但他一点都不感兴趣。最后,该名男子脸色一沉,挥挥手,说道,“这里没有火车票,你们去其它地方吧,不送。”

听到这席话,我顿时松了一口气。“我们可以走啦!哈哈!”我说道,扯了扯小王的衣领。我一路狂奔到室外,小王紧跟在后。一股热浪袭来,全身开始冒汗。但我觉得好舒服,好像全身每一个毛孔都侵润在热风中,呐喊着,“自由!”

司机在外面等我们,我和他说道,“师傅,不好意思。他们没有票。把我们送回火车站吧!”一路上我们沉默不语,回到车站后,我给了他60卢比,是去程的两倍,也算是心照不宣的歉意吧,不好意思。。这次他没有赚到回扣。。

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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