(5) Incredible India - The First Impression

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Feb 3, 2017 02:07
A heat wave wahsed over me. (It was over 50 Celsius degrees outside.) Right in front of us was a dirt road. The sidewalks were bustling with a menagerie of strange people dressed in different thickly layered traditional clothes in the scorching sun. Some wore headdresses and robes. I thought, “Don’t they feel hot?” Among the pedestrians strolled various animals such as cows, camels, and donkeys, leaving trails of dung. Tuk-tuks squeezed through the crowds, making sudden brakes or jerky turns.

Opposite the road stood an old, low two-story building. I guessed it to be Central Station. My friend an I made our way towards it. I reached into my pocket, took out a hand towel and covered my nose to protect myself from the pungent smell of excrement and exhaust waste, but it was no use. (Within two days of my trip, I got used to it. Actually, for a first-timer like me, it wasn't bad. It was only part of Delhi. I guess that my initial shock was only because of the stark difference between assumption and the reality. I also overestimated my travel experience because I'd been to several other nations‘ capital cities before, like Bangkok. People in these cities wore modern clothing, T-shirts, jeans, etc.. Urban areas of these cities were also very modern and looked no different from each other.)

I entered the station and tried to find the Foreign Tourist Center, but didn’t have the faintest idea where to look – there were no signs. Looking around, I saw different crowds pacing hastily back and forth. Upon noticing a guy stop in his footsteps, I rushed over to him, asking for help. I sopke to him for about half a minute, he kept nodding but looked at me with a blank face. It dawned on me that he didn’t understand English! I then went upstairs and saw a policeman in uniform. He didn’t speak English either! Just then, two lines of people in traditional attire walked by chanting and beating drums to a deafening volume, as if they were practicing a ritual. I panicked. We'd stumbled into a totally different world! We'd gotton lost!

In despair, we had no choice but to go downstairs. Then, a man wearing a spotless white robe went to us. His clothes were so tidy that he looked conspicuous among the crowd. Smiling, he asked, “Can I help you, sir?” Wow! He spoke English! A savior! “He’s so decent. He must be an employee here,” I thought. I then explained to him that I wanted to go to the Foreign Tourist Center to buy tickets.

“Hmm… I see. But there are no tickets here. You should go to the travel agencies. They can get them for you.” The man said.

“That’s different from what the guidebook said,” I thought, but since he was the only man I could rely on, I chose to believe him.

“I can introduce a tuk-tuk to you guys," he added, "You just pay them 30 rupees to get to the place.”

We went out and hopped onto the tuk-tuk the man referred to us.

Previously on this travel log:

马路对面有一栋老旧两层建筑,我猜那就是Central Station了,然后就朝着那里走去。粪便和汽车尾气太刺鼻,我只好从口袋里面拿出一块手巾,捂着鼻子,但还是盖不住。(其实,旅行两天我就习惯了,也不像第一次那样不习惯了。这只是德里的一部分。我觉得我当时觉得震惊,可能源自我想象和现实的差距。我之前去过几个国家首都,比如曼谷,那些城市的人穿着T恤、牛仔裤,非常世俗化,而且城区都非常现代化,没有什么两样。)


万念俱灰,我们只得下楼。这时,一个穿着洁白袍子的男子向我们走来,他的衣服很干净,在人群中很扎眼。他笑着说,“我能帮你吗?” 哇!他会说英语!大救星来了!我心想“他穿着仪态都这么得体,肯定是一个工作人员。”然后我告诉他,我想去外国游客中心买票。




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