Friday, December 2, 2011

Getting Run Over in Delhi

Yep, I mean that literally. I think Carlos Mencia put it well when he says "Dee Dee Dee" for stupid people. I could always look at it as DDD for Damn Delhi Drivers. Here's how it goes.

Hubby and I are again in Delhi visiting the (not so) wonderful US Embassy. I swear that place is the bane of my existance these days but I'm not going to hash that out because it's the same old boring story. After again being rejected at the embassy we went out and did a little retail therapy ....or I guess you could look at it as high intensity leg working out. We hadn't eaten because we were at the embassy half the day. Hubby was sad and I can't say I felt much better. The best places to get food are of course in the shopping centers....yeah okay I know that's not true but it was my argument to get to the retail therapy (cut me some slack hahahaha).

So after resting for a little while in the hotel room we decided to go walk around in the street bazaar nearby the hotel. We usually find some really good stuff in that bazaar - lots of foreign goods and cheap gifts to send home. I decide to be smart and walk all the way up one side of the road and back down the other. This market is always extremely crowded and I say every time how they should block the vehicle traffic because there are so many people walking. It's just dangerous. As it was some moron aimed his car right at me when we were entering and I moved but he kept coming more and more towards me until I hid behind hubby.

So we made it a really, really long way up the street and things were going well after that. I got the most awesome 2 piece shirt/skirt set to send home as a gift for only 250 INR. *Probably got ripped off again but at that price I  don't care. I couldn't buy the beads that were on it for that price (abt $5) in the US.* We decided to keep walking and look for a good dhaba for hubby to get his overly spicy Indian food that he loves so much. I'm ducking and dodging rickshaw drivers, crowds of foreigners and Indians and cars, dogs, motorcycles and salesmen trying to lure me in.

Then I noticed we were coming into a really crowded area so I got as far towards the edge of the road as I could. I was less than an inch from somebody's parked car. There was a group of teenage boys behind me - like well into my personal space and less than a foot away from me. Then all of a sudden I got rammed by a scooter! He hit my legs first and the tire went between my knees and the rest of his scooter hit me directly in my back and pinned my right leg into the car!

Hubby was worried asking me if I was hurt. The older man driving the scooter was saying he was sorry. Tourist and locals were gathering around and I was ^&#*ing pissed off. I started giving him shit, asking him if he was blind and wtf was wrong with him. Two other tourist got his license plate number and offered to be witnesses if I filed a report. Hubby assured me that was a lot of trouble and I'm sure this guy would have paid some bribe to the cops and got off anyway. Not to mention I don't want to come back to Delhi to settle anything. I'm still freaking pissed off. How stupid do you have to be. Seriously India needs more traffic control.

I only have a minor scratch on my left leg. My right leg is getting sore and my back hurts and will likely be sore a few days. I guess I'll have to go get an x-ray after I get home to make sure there's no serious damage to my back. This is just such crap. Had there been some way I could avoid it then I would have felt like the idiot in this situation but considering the guys behind me had this panicked look on their faces from almost getting nailed I'm quite sure there was nothing I could have done to avoid this one.  One of the guys still had his hands up in front of his chest like he had just jumped out of the way.

3 comments:

  1. I live in the US in the State of Indiana. I'm considering a trip to Delhi, India in the futre. Aside getting ran over what other tips would you have for a first timer? How does the money work there versus in the US? Any recommendation on a decent hotel/motel etc.? How long was your flight? Did you get a package deal? What is the typical cost of a trip there? When is the best time of year to there? I'd prefer to not go when it's cold.

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  2. Good questions!! Most of all Delhi is a fairly good city to visit. It reminds me of New York only with less people walking everywhere - can you imagine! Until this trip I never really had a bad experience in Delhi other than being tired from the traveling and constant shopping.

    Tips: Don't pay a ton for an international hotel! Look up hotels in Ram Nagar. I pay about $80 a night for a hotel that would be 5 star quality in the US. There are about 50 in one tiny neighborhood in Ram Nagar and it's literally 2 blocks from the train station so if you want to go somewhere else it's quick and easy and they also provide tours for a fairly low price ($30 a person to the Taj Mahal). My fav hotel is http://www.hotelajanta.com/ and we almost always get the superior room though the deluxe is almost identical (the bed's are shorter is the only difference I see).

    As for money it mostly averages close to 50 INR for $1 and I still use this to decide if a purchase is worth it. I relate what I'm buying to how much I would pay in the US (and I'm a sales guru so to speak because I only pay about $10 for Liz Claiborne pieces in the US on a regular basis.) So when I'm buying a scarf if it's over 300 INR (abt $6) then I take into account whether or not it's worth it and how I will use it. Unique items that I can't find in the US I do sometimes get ripped off on but I feel it's worth it for the benefit and joy that comes from the purchase. Still, I find most things are far cheaper here even at rip off prices for an Indian.

    My flight to get here was a little over 15 hours to Delhi. Going back was 17 hours on Air India. No package deal, I just purchased early so the price was lower. At 6 weeks before the trip it cost $1200 round trip and $700 one way both times I had the insurance for everything. February is gorgeous weather, about 70 in the day and 40 at night. It starts getting really hot around April or May. Then cools back off to around 85/70 around October. Now, keep in mind the heat here does not feel like the US so 95-100 here is comfortable (even for a cold weather lover like me). It mostly depends on your heat tolerance level. Avoid December and January if you don't like the cold - though I must say Delhi was quite nice and I didn't use a jacket the whole time I was there in early December. Long sleeve shirts were great and all I needed.

    Tips....when you're riding around town don't put your window down at stoplights. There are beggar children and if you give one money they will all run to you and we had one hold onto our window and would not let go (Rohit told me to give them coins lol...funny story). He was literally running along side the car holding on while we tried to leave.

    If you're married to an Indian citizen then take a copy of your marriage license with you. It can save you from paying the tourist prices at local tourist destinations. Otherwise you'll pay about 10-20 times what everyone else pays (literally). You may also need it to stay in the same hotel room (this is random and was a rule at one time but may no longer apply, just be prepared in case they ask.)

    It's okay to talk to some people but be careful with it. It's entirely personal preference but some will try to take your picture and then tell their friends they were 'with' you. Others may take your western courtesy as flirtation. So just be a little more on guard, especially with the 15-25 year old crowds if you decide to be hospitable.

    Practice an evil eye look. It will stop the staring from the old aunties and uncles if that gets out of hand or begins to bother you. Just don't overuse it because they are not taught it's impolite to stare and you will be the star attraction.

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  3. Since that reply was getting really long, I'm posting a blog with more tips on the 10th. Come back then and check it out.

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