(6.1) Incredible India - The Rip-off

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Feb 5, 2017 03:01
The fortyish tuk-tuk driver wore a voluminous white robe and a Sikh turban around his head. Wrapped around his neck was a towel, which he used to wipe the profuse sweat from his face every now and then as he drove. He looked over his shoulder and asked us where we came from.

“We come from China,” I replied.

“Hmm. India, China. Good buddies!” he yelled in a voice loud enough to cut through the wind and the rumble of the engine, giving a thumbs up.

I smiled, saying nothing. “Who knows what’s exactly on his mind,” I thought. I'd heard that the two nations had had a border conflict decades earlier, though because this period of history was hardly mentioned in China, national memory of the event had gradually faded to oblivion. I didn’t know, however, if this was the same in India.

After chugging along about twenty minutes, we arrived at one of the houses of the travel agency. It was dim and freezing inside. A chill ran down my spine. Was it the cold or the fear? I couldn't tell.

The driver stayed outside and pointed to a little room down the hallway, saying, “That’s the ticket office.” Just then, a young man popped out of nowhere, with a seemingly warm smile on his face, and led us into the room. But, soon after, he stepped out and slammed the door shut behind him.

My heart missed a beat. What was going on? It seemed suspicious, didn't it? Well, who knew anymore. I glanced at Wang, who appeared pleased. Perhaps he thought we’d met some good Samaritans and we’d found a shortcut to get our tickets. We sat down and the man opposite us started talking. “Welcome gentlemen! You guys want tickets from Jaipur to Agra, right?”

I quickly sized up the man, who was dressed up in a black suit and sat beside an old-fashioned computer. He drew out a map from a stack of papers, spread it over the table, and pushed it across. “See? This is the map of India. New Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. This route is called ‘The Golden Triangle.’ If their visit is short, most foreigners will choose this route. You can join our package tour. Only costs $10,000…”
那个司机约莫40来岁,穿着一个超大的白大褂,头上包了一个锡克教头巾。脖子上卷着一块毛巾,开车的时候时不时用它来擦汗。他转过头,问我们从哪里来。

“来自中国。”我回答道。

“嗯,不错不错!印度,中国,好兄弟!”他竖起大拇指,大声喊道,即便马达隆隆响,也能听得清楚。

我笑了笑,没有说啥,心里想,“谁知道他心里想啥呢?”我听说中印两国几十年前有一场边境战争,不过这场战争在国内很少被提及,逐渐被国人遗忘。不知道印度是不是也是这样。

颠簸了将近20分钟后,我们看到了一排小屋,旅行社在其中一间。屋里昏暗冰冷,不知道是因为冷气还是因为惊恐,一股凉意席卷全身。

司机师傅待在外面,没有进屋,指着最里面一间房说,“那便是售票处了。”

此时,不知哪里冒出来一个人,脸上堆满笑意,领着我们进了那间房。但不久后,他便退出房间,把门嘭地一声关上。

我的心咯噔一下。这是怎么回事?好可疑!鬼晓得会发生什么!我看了看小王,他还十分高兴,也许,他认为我们碰到什么好心人,找到了买票的捷径。我们坐了下来,坐在我们对面的一个男子开始说话了,“欢迎欢迎!你们要买斋普尔到阿格拉的票,是吗?”

我快速打量了一番,那人穿着黑色西服,旁边有一台老旧台式电脑旁。他从一堆资料里面抽出了一张地图,然后打开,推到我们面前。“喏!这是印度地图,新德里、斋普尔还有阿格拉,这条旅游线路称之为金三角。很多外国人来印度,如果待的时间不长,就会选择这条线路,你可以参团,只要1万美金。。。”
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