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Day ... Uh... 7! Day 7. (6/24/2009)

Varanasi, India

Oh my god. Past three days have been hella rough. This is what I've been up to.
Monday I woke up at 3:30am and checked out and got to the airport around 4:30am to leave for New Delhi. I had like 4 or 5 flights that I could standby on. I get there, get to the ticket agent and they won't accept my tiket, apperently I had to go through this process first to be able to use their airlines with my zed ticket bought with Jet Airways so anyways after battling with ticket agent after ticket agent one of them finally just does it for me but I soon find out the 7:35am flight is now so overbooked they won't even let me standby, so is the evening flight with that airlines. Great two flights down and the rest of the other flights are later in the day. Ok so, basically I'm at the airport getting rejected after rejected for standbying, hours later i'm starting to know the staff that's working that day, both the taxi people outside and the information helpers inside oh and the girls with northwest airlines who were a huuuge help in getting me out of Thailand. I finally pull out my phone and start looking up other cities in India I could use my ticket for. I find Kolkata, and so I rush to Thai airways booth and ask if my ticket to delhi could be used to get me to Kolkata and they say yes and to come back at 6 to check in. 'Till then I'm still trying the other airlines to get to Delhi and I'm still getting rejected due to overbooking. It's finally 6:00pm, I've been here for 13.5 hours and they say the flight looks good and to come back at 10:50pm to see if I have a seat. So 'till then I have dinner, a beer with a taxi driver, talked to an English dude and his Thai girlfriend (oh by the way, there are a lot of white dudes old and young with Thai girls haha), sitting around a lot, watching a Thai movie being shot at the airport and I finally get a seat and make the 11:30 flight to Kolkata....before the flight I meet this man and his family who says if I really wanna experience India, then I should spend a month hiking in the hymalayas (Eliot, Cam, that's us next summer haha) and he tells me all about when to go what it's like and explained how the weather works there, he drew pictures for me and gave me his email address if I had any questions regarding the possible trip. Ok so now It's midnight, Tuesday, and I land in India, oh Indians and planes, that's a whole other story, I felt sorry for the pretty Thai flight attendants. Anyways my first 5 min in India, after their crazy customs check, I'm fighting with their crazy taxi driver who say the fare to my hotel is, which I called before exiting the airport to check on what the fare should be and if they have any open rooms, is 890 rupees... The hotel said 215 rupees. Shit so now were calling the hotel back, the taxi drivers and me (cause by now more have come over...) And they finally work out a price of 250, I only had 850 rupees on me so I decided to give them a 10USD, the driver drops me off at the railway station and I'm lost. Omg this town at night is the scariest place I've been, thank god everyone is so nice haha. This taxi driver helps me out in finding a place to stay. We drive around for like 40 min going to hotel after hotel and we finally get back to one we checked out earlier and the driver worked out a deal for me so I could stay, I only had 700 rupees on me by now so I gave the driver 200, and for the 800 rupee room I gave the man my last 500 and my passport to hold on to... It's around 3am now I'm in a room and I can't sleep, I got maybe 4 hours that night. At 8am I left to get money to pay the last 300 and more. The hotel guy really helped me out that day. After walking around Kolkata for an hour tryin to not get lost finding money exchange place the front desk guy of my hotel helped me get a ticket to Varanasi and had it delivered to me at the hotel since tickets aren't bought at the station this really saved me time and money. My train left at two. Time passes by and the guy with my ticket shows up at noon like they said, I pay him and they find me a taxi and now I'm at the station... The place the first taxi dropped me off the night before... I was sweating so bad it was crazy. I bought two litres of water and a 7-up for only 40 rupees! That's under a dollar. I finally figure out where my train is around 1:50 and I get shown my berth. Haha ok these next 18 hours really lifted my spirits about this trip. Met this military man who helped me out and before he left asked If I wanted him to tell the guy sitting with us when my stop was so he did. The rest of the people I was with was this huge guy and his son, this other skinny dude who was really nice and a business man. All were there the whole 18 hours with me. During this time I'm chillin and dying from the lack of AC On this train. Nothing big happened for the first 6 hours, I had my first chai tea in India. They get served in these little clay cups that you toss out the window when finished, actually you toss everything out the window when you're finished with it haha. By now I'm getting aquanted with my cabin. Ok so now this father, mother, daughter and um uncle I think joins us for part of the trip. You know something us up when the father asks out of no where if I have a girlfried, followed by how old am I haha. I answer, then watch as he speaks to his daughter in hindi whose now laughing and blushing and looks at me. The father says "that is my daughter" and I say "oh she's very pretty" she actually was mind you. So now the jokes start about him trying to get us together mmm good awkward fun now our whole section of the train is taking about me and that daughter, then the father leans over to me and says "give her a couple of days and she will give in" haha. So now they are joking about, well nevermind the details, all in all if their Stop wasn't that right when it was and they were with us the rest of my ride I prolly would have had a wife by Varanasi haha (joking mom!) kinda lol. Later on this trip I get some dudes junk thrown in my face... He was dressed as a chick and wanted something that I wasn't going to give (no that is not the part that lifted my spirits...) Eeh moving on, 18 hours later I'm in Varanasi! Finding a hotel was a whole lot easier and the tuk-tuk drivers were soo nice and not ripping me off at all. I'm now at the kareshut hotel and hot as he'll. Well I'll prolly update this entry with more stuff, right now I typed this all up on my phone so there's bound to by typos and stuff I missed. All is well and I'm still alive.
K heading out to the town.

Update (rest of the day)
Well it's now 10:22 and I'm stuffed and tired. After a well needed shower (it's been three days now without one) I head to the front desk to figure out where to get money and to get train tickets. A man working there says he will get my ticket and will also show me around town explaining things and all that touristy stuff free of charge. Well nothing is free and I don't like guides so I opted out. He still helped me exchange some money but before the he brought me to the Muslim part of Varanasi to take a free tour of the business that goes on there... It seemed a bit skethy but during it I had a good time, walked with the cutiest kids ever and learned how those one I a kind um what are they called... Duveys?? (spelling?) and those plankets you frame and put on walls and those sheets with the silver and gold threads that no one ever sees but are given to royality anyways I got to see how those are made in these little family homes. Then in the end I meet the man in charge and, this is where it gets sketchy, then he's showing me all these expensive decorative spreads and cloth pieces, then asks if I'm interested in buying one... Yup always money involved. After a half hour of him saying there is no obligation but still stacking on the discounts, mind you these things are ati in the couple hundreds range I finally get out without buying even the cheapest piece he has, and 900 rupees. I'm now back at the hotel and giving money out I'd my train ticket to Agra. I then venture out to find the river where I see the second white guy since being in india. I ended up stopping to talk and fund out he's lookin for the river too, I continue on down this road and he meets up with me and we find the ganges river. We're chillin out just enjoying the view and watched a ceramony performance then we went to get some food and we parts ways. Were both gonna head to the river tomorrow morning at 5am to catch a boat ride up river at dawn. And then to take a dive in the holy water. Well now I'm back in my room, it's 10:37pm and I'm waiting for my train ticket still...
K byee.

permalink written by  Kennyboy12 on June 24, 2009 from Varanasi, India
from the travel blog: 2009 - Kenny Baldridge - "No Reservations"
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