Maureen's Adventures in Asia travel blog

Yes, as you can tell I really love Delhi. To be fair, the city is not so bad - it is the previous bad experiences that have left bad feelings towards this city...

My flight was delayed leaving Aurangabad as they had closed the Delhi airport so the military could practice their fly-by for Republic Day. This closure had domino effects throughout the country - delaying many flights. I had heard many horror stories about the Delhi airport. In Agra we met an American man who had arrived without a pre-paid taxi, and hotel reservation. The taxi touts convinced him that there was a conference in town, and there were no hotel rooms. They offered to drive him (5 hours) to Agra. Many rupees later, he arrived at a very expensive hotel near the Taj Mahal. He is one of the lucky ones, there are stories about tourists getting into unlicensed taxis, and getting mugged or worse. My tale is one of the happy ones...

Arrive in Delhi 3 hours late at 10:00 p.m. with no airport transfer, but hopefully a hotel reservation. I arrived at the Aurangabad airport with plenty of time to spare, and was given even more time due to the military fly-by practice. When I realized that my flight would be late, I decided to phone my hotel to inform them. I didn't have enough change for the pay-phone, so I asked the Indian Airlines staff if there was another phone. I explained that I needed to phone my hotel, and inform them of the flight delay. He let me use the airline phone in his office (sometimes Indian hospitality blows me away). I could have phoned Canada for all he knew (I didn't). Anyway, I find out that my hotel has cancelled my room as I hadn't arrived by noon - they didn't tell me that I had to arrive by noon. So here I am sitting in the Indian Arilines office with no hotel reservation. I freaked - the crew realized my situation, and told me to make as many calls as needed in order to find a room. I phoned every hotel in central Delhi, and all were booked. I had kept a few other numbers from another traveller's guidebook, and phoned one of those in desperation. Success! Now I just had to figure out how to get from the airport to the hotel...

The flight was smooth, and uneventful. We arrived in Delhi, and I prepared for the next adventure - walking through the airport doors. I found the pre-paid taxi stand and purchased my ticket. Then I strapped on my backpack, and attached all bags preparing for the battle that is the Delhi airport. Traveller stories tell of touts grabbing your bags, and dragging you and them off. With my pre-paid ticket in hand, I clutched my bags as I left the airport for that evil area known as the taxi stand. In the book, Holy Cow, she describes chaos and hundreds of people/toputs lying in wait. There were hundreds of peopel, but ehy were mostly wll-wishers waiting for love ones. The whole affair was anti-climatic. No one even tried to grab my bag, take me to Agra or stories of burning hotels.

What was all the fuss about!

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