SAS: PART 2: MY RICKSHAW DRIVER HAD NO GAS AND I MISSED MY…


There we were, my rickshaw driver, my new shopping purchases, a coconut, myself and mad traffic all around us. He was out on the pavement, pushing the rickshaw with no shoes on and sweat running down his neck. All I could do was stare at my watch as the minutes rolled by… I was late, and this was only pushing me back even later.

Another rickshaw pulled up beside us, a little conversation exchange went on between them in Hindu or Tamil and then my driver hoped back in, and we were moving again. The rickshaw beside us had disappeared. I looked around for it and found him behind us pushing our rickshaw for the rest of the way. I was shocked that there was this exchange between the drivers of simply lending out a hand to one in need. I was moved… literally.

Pulling up to the gates of immigration to get on my ship, the rickshaw driver couldn’t bring me any further, and I had to walk what I thought was only a 2 minute walk. Another 15 minutes later of walking down a dirt road, hot and sticky I finally walked up the steps to my ship: Home sweet home.

Kalee was standing there, “Veit Veit!”, hurry, hurry she yelled in French. Not sure why she pulled out that language, but you have to love her. I ran down to my room, grabbed my bag and we were on our way to the airport.

We landed in Delhi with hopes that we could catch the last train to Agra that night. We only had an hour window and if those plans fell through, we had no idea what we were going to do. Waiting at the line for our Pre-paid taxi, our taxi zips in, slams on the breaks. Out pops this young boy who ushers us into his van and slams the door behind us. Kalee and I just look at each other: this boy meant business! Out he goes, speeding just as fast as he came in, honking his horn, swerving around cars. Within minutes of leaving the airport Kalee and I were falling all over the place. He pulls over for half a second and his friend jumps in. Then there is more speeding, confusion, more honking, some swerving and us in the back seat falling all over the place, Kalee and I were hysterical. The boys started singing. They spoke no English, but they were clapping and dancing. They could not have been older than 18, and that’s a stretch.

An hour later, after ending up in the wrong location and missing our train we made it to the train station. Now, nearing midnight, we needed to find somewhere to sleep before waking up early the next morning to find another train.

We did just that, we drove around to 4 different hotels, as our taxi driver tried to help us and then paid way too much for a room of its worth where the toilet didn’t even flush. Over sleeping the next morning till 6:30 am, Kalee and I rushed our way to the train station. Walking outside our hotel for the first time in the day light, we realized we were right in the middle of back alley ways. Sketch town= real India.

We found the train station, but missed all the morning trains. Evidently, trying to make our way to Agra by train was just not in the cards for us… but we only had one day allocated for Agra. We wanted to see the Taj Mahal, and now it was 8 am and Agra was still 3-5 hours away. We were flustered.

*Keep checking back to see if we actually made it to the Taj Mahal*

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