Category Archives: India

Burnt-Out on Buses

I hope this will be my last transport bus post for a while as I now should be in the position to stick exclusively to trains. 

Trains are smoother. They don’t freak you out. Unlike buses, trains don’t have the freedom to perilously weave and overtake.

Deluxe Bus Ride: Shimla to Dharamsala
As mentioned at the end of a previous post, I opted for an overnight deluxe bus from Shimla to Dharamsala.  It was much more comfortable than the previous rides as I had two seats to myself.  The driver kept switching the lights from on to off and back again at what seemed like random occasions.   I read until I became dizzy, or until the man whimsically decided that it was time to kill the lights.

Dental Tourism

Upon arriving at the Dharamsala bus terminal yesterday after a 9-hour over night bus from Shimla, I was carted up a mountain by taxi.  A man drove me to the area known as McLeod Ganj.  I had him drop me at a hotel I’d found online the day before.  I didn’t book. I just showed up and negotiated a price.

A Visit to Nek Chand’s Fantasy Rock Garden

It’s like you’re stepping back in time when you’re really walking through a creation spawned from Nek Chand’s brain work.

In the 28-hours that I spent in Chandigarth this past Friday night and into the very wee hours of the am on Sunday, many things happened.   As mentioned two posts ago:

Public Transport in North India: Part Two

The main reason I drifted from Rishikesh to Chandigarth is because I’d read somewhere that there’s an amazing train ride that ascends up into the Himalayan foothills from a place called Kalka.  Kalka is just a half hour by bus from Chandigarth.

Public Transport in North India: Part One

The three children standing in the back asked me to take this photo. Click on the picture to zoom in.

Upon leaving the hot but holy and laid-back city of Rishikesh, I took a local, one-hour bus ride along the Ganges to Haridwar

At the Rishikesh bus station there was one other foreigner,  a German who had been to India on numerous occasions.  He, like me, had a train ticket from Haridwar to Chandigarth.

Getting Out of a Megacity to Rishikesh

Big cities compared to smaller cities and towns are  different dimensions within the same land.  This holds true all over the vast earth, and it’s even truer when you’re comparing a megalopolis to a smaller city, town or rural area.

When I bought my train ticket at the Tourist Information Bureau at the New Delhi Railway station, they only had one seat left.  It was in first class.

I’m Not Immune to Culture Shock

Considering that I’ve travelled a fair deal, I figured that culture shock was a thing of the past. Now that over a week has passed in northern India, I realize that’s not the case.

On my recent trip to Central America, the culture shock was minimal. This is not the situation here, now.

India is considered a part of the Asian continent; however, it’s the only land on earth that can be considered a subcontinent. I suggest that we regard it as a continent as its unique cultural heritage deserves this distinction.

Three Delhi Scams That I Fell Victim to

If you arrive in Delhi, or probably any huge city in India, and you stay in a touristy/backpacker’s location, you’ll be a target for certain scams.  I recommend you set aside $50 or so as psychological write off money just in case.   This way the potential trauma will be abated.

Don’t worry.  The cons are not intended to harm you.   They’re only to steal your money.

That said, following are three scams that I fell victim to in Delhi.

SCAM ONE:  As mentioned two posts ago, a beggar, whose name I’ve since learned is Rayna, managed to smoothly rip me off.  She’d asked me to buy milk for her baby.  I had originally thought that I’d spend just a few Rupees on the milk which ended up being a huge container of powdered milk for over 410 Rupees ($9)  Since she got me on that baby milk buying scam, she’s accosted me on several occasions, trying to negotiate more money out of me.

People Watching Until the First Monsoon Rain

Glancing down from the second floor of the Café Nirvana, I see two kids in bare feet.  They can’t be more than five or six. They’re wearing shabby, dirty clothes and placing their hands out politely.  They’re not pushy.  After being ignored, they dance merrily together along the road, probably to the next place where they’ll ask for a handout.  I think:  Gosh, talk about being shorted by society.

Drifting Through the Streets of Delhi

While walking around in the blazing hazy sun, I  lost track of time.  One moment blurred into the next. Subcontinental multiculture abounds.  This capital megacity seems to attract people of different ethnicities and language groups.