We arrived at about 11pm last night and were immediately besieged by rickshaw drivers touting for business, as is customary. After a lot of haggling we finally got the price down from 200 rupees to 60, which was still about twice as much as it should have been. Usually when you do this to a rickshaw driver they take you to a hotel of their choice rather than yours, so we made sure to explain that we didn’t want to go to any other hotel, didn’t want to go shopping first and didn’t want a sightseeing tour.
After getting lost, he did take us to our hotel, although we noticed that one of our bags had been opened by him. We couldn’t se anything immediately obvious that had gone missing so we checked in anyway. The hotel tried to increase the price of the room and give us one without a window. I became increasingly annoyed and eventually the hotel owner gave us a the correct room – probably to stop me making a scene. We’re staying in the Pahagang area of town, a very smelly, very busy, crap-on-the-street area where one of the Delhi bombs went off, although it’s incredible to think that anyone noticed.
When I woke up this morning I discovered that it was my sunglasses that the rickshaw driver took from my bag, which is annoying, as they’re prescription so I can’t just pick up another pair on the street. We went to the police station to file a police report for insurance purposes and met a couple of Australian girls who had their passports, visas, money and bags taken. On top of that, she’d injured her back landing on some rocks after falling off a camel. She seemed quite relaxed given she’d just lost all her stuff, done in her back and was complaining that she was loosing feeling in her right leg. Call me sadistic, but there’s nothing like the misfortune of others to cheer me up and the Aussie’s tale certainly put ours into perspective.
We left the police station with our police report (that I wrote, I hope the insurance company accepts it) and onto a pharmacy. I carry a nebuliser for my asthma and unfortunately parts of it got broken en route and needed replacing. Amazingly a local pharmacy stocked the spare parts, and, for an extra few rupee, one or two asthma drugs that are supposed to only be available on prescription.
We’ve decided not to visit Agra and the Taj Mahal, it’s not going anywhere and neither of us feel like facing a long train journey and a visit to another city full of tourists and locals trying to rip them off at every turn.
We fly out of India at 00:05 on Thursday morning, so tonight is our last night and tomorrow our last day. On to Bangkok in Thailand now, where we begin an overland journey through Cambodia to Ho Chi Min City (Saigon) in Vietnam.