New Delhi Railway Station
International Tourist Bureau, 1st Floor
India is rough. I am trying not to be such a baby about it, but I thought I could handle it, and it is harder than I thought. There’s such a fine line between feeling okay (and possibly even happy or upbeat) and finding yourself extremely angry and ready to pull a punch at the next person who tries to open their mouth in front of you. When you’re trying to find something important, India just tries to make it hard. Finding a restaurant, a train station, making change… it’s like wading through pudding, every moment.
99 times out of 100, when someone tries to address you and offer advice, they are up to no good. Occasionally, they may be telling the truth, but unless someone in uniform or behind an official counter or desk says the same thing, you shouldn’t believe it. And yet, even knowing this and having been told this twenty seven times, it can be easy to be misled and confused by signs and a group of touts all saying the same thing and working together. They will coax and point and argue and corral you like cattle in the direction they want you to move, promising, lying, and separately corroborating each other. “The ticket office is this way, ma’am. This way.” It is enraging and tiring, and I’ve never been on the receiving end of this treatment in such an intense and thorough way. Scams happen in China all the time, but I don’t get explicitly targeted, and I understand the local language. Here, we are foreigners, doubly, clearly so, with my East Asian features and Steve’s pale skin and blue eyes.