Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I AM KALI, HEAR ME ROAR!

After you read this, you will know why I posted this picture!

OK people, you are not going to believe the hell I have just gone through, but first, I will tell you about the good part of my Wednesday in Jaipur. I had lots of fun walking through the funky neighborhoods, taking pics and chatting with people. I bought Little Rita some Jaipuri shoes, and some other trinkets.

Then, since the previous day, I had found a clean place to eat, I went back there again with my driver, whos name is Aslan, not Amran or whatever I called him yesterday.....anyway, he wouldn't eat anything there....I bought him a coffee, and I think, it was just too fancy for him with all that fluffy milk and whatever they put in coffee. You know, I know nothing about coffee, but I just think it was TOO TOO for him.

Ok so after we did that, I asked him to take me to see this really fancy overpriced store that is called Anoki. Anoki specializes in block printed fabrics, my favorite, and the reason for the extra cost is the quality in the workmanship. Additionally, their workers are treated very well, paid fairly, and they do NOT hire children. I was so tempted to whip out the credit card to fetch some of that beautiful stuff, but since Aslan was with me, I simply could not, no way. I mean, just one bedcover cost more than he makes in two days. I just had to restrain myself and only look, muttering now and then, "too much", "too expensive", and stuff like that. In retrospect, I did the right thing.

Ok so then I wanted to see some elephants, so off we went to the elephant market, where for 2 1/2 lakhs you can buy an elephant! So I told Aslan, lets pretend we want to buy one, "OK madam, with me anything is possible", Aslan said to me for the 50th time! Ok how much money is 2 1/2 lakhs? I think thats about 6,500 US dollars. Anyway, we took some pictures of the elephants, and pretended that we wanted to buy one. While I was wondering whether to kick the tires or check under the hood, the elephant that I was looking at suddenly wrapped her trunk around my waist and then I think it wanted to lift me but I screamed and it let go. I was not ready and I did not see that coming or I would have let her lift me.

After petting the elephant and contemplating a test drive, I turned my attn to the camels. The camel wallah let me lead the camel around by its rope but there were its huge teeth looming over my head....I was a little afraid but still it was fun and yes yes yes pictures next week, I promise!

Ok so after awhile the mahout (elephant guy) figured out that we were just taking the piss with him (taking a piss means just pulling his leg, thanks Ian, for that term!) and he got irritated, demanded money for the picture taking. So I started tossing 10 rupee notes at him. Ok now the camel wallah is mad cuz I didn't give him rupees so he runs over to the mahout and yells at him to give some of the rupees. Im yelling "WAIT WAIT" because I have more rupees for him, I just haven't gotten them out yet. So then I toss some rupees at him and Aslan grabs my arm and pulls me to the rickshaw. "You are very bad, madam", he said, because the men really thought I was going to buy an elephant! OMG! Ok, but if you were buying a car, would you buy the first car you saw, or would you look at a few? I say look at a few.

Ok anyway, I then had to get some more awesome bedspreads, which Jaipur is famous for, so Aslan took me to a really cool place where they do block printing. I watched these men make bedspreads for an hour while the guy explained the process, but told me "no pictures, madam".

It's ok, he doesn't know that I am totally visual and do not need pictures. This tour and the process, the dyes used, the set up, I will remember forever, no pictures needed.

Then I bought 15 bedspreads, all exquisite! Of course, I only pay Indian prices, and since I tell everyone in North India that I am live in Bangalore, they treat me better. Now, up here, everyone thinks I am Chinese! Hilarious! I know it's my eyes, but if you put me next to a chinese person, there is just no resemblance. Then they start guessing....."red Indian"? (thats what they call native americans), Nepali?, Mexican?, Eskimo? LOL Too funny.

Ok, here is where the hell begins, so strap yourself in.

I go back to my hotel to fetch my stuff, which is now a whopping 75 pounds and remember now Im like 115 pounds and not exactly Mrs Muscles! Aslan helped me of course, and then carried my backpack to the train station. Aslan by the way, can't weigh more than me, I think. Ok so he says goodbye, and off he goes.

Then I met a man from Bangalore. He works on MG Road in the Ebony building! Oh wow, do I know that neighborhood well! So we chatted for awhile and I started to wonder why my train listing was not there but his train to Bangalore was. So, I knew I could trust him, I left him with my bags and ran off to figure out where my train was.
Are you ready?
"Madam, your train left at 4:45 not 5:45!" ARGHHHHH!!!!! Well, that's funny becaue my ticket clearly says 17:45 and that is 5:45 pm is it not? The train guy laughs and says, "Mistake, madam." Ok, so i run back to the guy from B'lore, he helps me on with my pack and I put the smaller pack on the front and the bundle of bedspreads on top of the small pack and make a run stagger for the tourist office, which thank god was still open. Now, in this office I met the nicest man named Alok Saxani, and if you should ever get in a jam in Jaipur, even if it's not a train issue, go see this man, he will save you!

Alok told me my choices to escape Jaipur which included staying one more night, but having to find a different hotel since mine was full, taking the bus which leaves every half hour but it's not near the train and I have all that stuff and it's getting dark and the bus has no bathroom etc, or flying at 7:340 am to Delhi but the airport is far away, OR paying a driver to take me to Delhi right away. How much? $150.00 US dollars! Ok I dumped my purse out on the counter and begin furiously counting my money, including my emergency $100 US dollars...ok, I have enough money to pay them and then I am now a beggar too.

Ok so the driver comes right to the train station, comes in, carries my bags to his car. Ok so the drive to Delhi was pretty painless except for they stopped for tea breaks alot and no toiletsssssss, what do they care, men in India pee on everything and everywhere they can. "Tea, madam?" they ask. Hell no.....my bladder is bursting already. As they lounge in this goofy outdoor tea stall in the middle of nowhere watching Indian TV al fresco, drinking tea, I sit in the car and try to scout out a ..well, a bathroom kinda sorta if you know what I mean...any tree, anywhere...but no, since men pee wherever and whenever in India, and generally Indian women do not go out at night, so why make them a bathroom? WHY INDEED? ARGH!

Ok so, you wouldn't believe the traffic from Jaipur to Delhi in the middle of the night! Unreal!

Finally we get to Delhi and from the highway, I get to see Southwest Delhi, the modern big building part, the part I have never seen. Pretty spiffy, so that's where all the rich Delhi~ites hang out....

OK so then we can't find my hotel, the one I had to get in an emergency. Now believe me when I tell you Karenji, this hotel made the Taj Khema look like the Taj West End. I have never in my life seen a more disgusting hotel.

But let me back up here, the men that drove me to Delhi, so nice, gentleman, kind, pretty ok English, but cannot read English so I had to get out of the car and ask for directions showing my map etc. Ok so this fancy looking Indian man in a suit comes up to us and offers to help. He whips out his cell phone and calls the hotel, but then halfway through the call, he simply gives up and instead decides to see if he can grope me. I'm leaning on the trunk looking at the map, and he leans over me and presses against me, at the VERY SAME TIME, a beggar lady comes up and starts pestering me for money. Ok, these two driver guys, are too stunned and too innocent for the big city, and they clearly do NOT know how to handle this.

BUT I DO!

Like a volcano I exploded all over the drubk pervert in the one lakh suit, I turn on him, drive my elbow into his gut as hard as I can and bring my knee up, which misses his crotch that I was aiming for but he does get a pretty good knee into the groin and he backs off and starts calling me Maa Chod (motherfucker!). Ok so I yell, "get the fuck away from me you asshole or I will rip your balls off with my bare hands and make you eat them you pig!" He runs off! The drivers are stunned. The beggar lady is still there with her hand out through all of this! OK now it's her turn. "Why don't you get a fucking real job you lazy bitch and get the fuck away from me", I yell, and she runs off too.

Mind you, beggar families in India make a lot of fucking money. In fact, since they have all their children out begging on the streets, they make more money than all these hard working people in India. So, having done the math, and having been told about that, I will never again give money to beggars again. Never!

OK so now I get to the hotel that I had to find because the drivers could not. The sign is like 1 foot by 1 foot among all these giant signs, no wonder we missed it. So, they leave me there. Now it's raining and thundering in Delhi and I am now climbing up three flights of stairs with the 75 pounds of stuff. Whatever happened to all those greedy little fuckers that are willing to carry your bags for 10 rupees? They are ALL drunk in the street, that's what! I kid you not, I had to pull myself up the three flights because the bag was so heavy and the stairs in India, to save space, are very steep, knee crunching.....ok so I get up there, the three boys that work there are staring at me like DUHHHH WHO ARE YOU? So after 15 minutes I get a room, and it is the ugliest room I have ever seen in my life. So I asked in advance if they took credit cards, and they said yes, but of course, these morons said NO.....I went off on them and then the guy says ok go down to the restaurant and pay for the room, so I do because the restaurant takes credit cards. Then I have to pee so bad I go back to my room and enter the bathroom which smells like urine and I pee and flush and the water just gushes out all over the floor! Ok now that did it.

I stormed out of that room, as a rat ran by my feet, stormed to the office, where the three idiots are smoking marijuana and now I understand why they are staring at me like morons, they are wasted.

I want my money back and I am leaving now. No refund madam! I began to pound on the desk, "give me my money back NOW I refuse to stay in this filthy shitty hotel for one more second." He calls the boss who says ok you can have a partial refund. What the fuck???? NO give it ALL to me, NOW! "If you come back tomorrow madam, and talk to the manager..."

"NO !! NOW! I WANT MY MONEY NOW, every fucking penny you asshole!" So he calls another manager, a woman who tries to talk me into staying in the room for half rate. "Madam, I said, the bathroom smells like pee, the toilet is broken, the sheets are dirty, there are rats, the walls are filthy with katsup or some other red shit.....I would not stay here for free, in fact I would rather sleep on the street!" So, I had to use this oopportunity to let her know that her workers were not working at all, but in fact, were smoking pot and were too high and stupid to even handle ONE customer. She was furious and asked me to hand the phone back to the boy. I could hear her yelling at him in Hindi, and well, perhaps that boy is now unemployed, but you know what, FUCK him, he was a fucking moron.

Ok so now, I get all my stuff, I get almost all my money back, he insisted on keeping the room tax and 2% credit card fee, which amounted to $6.00....I thought about reaching over in to his cash box and taking hte rest of the money myself. Let me tell you, young Indian men are skinny, small and not very worldly, and had I done that, I probably would have gotten away with it.

Ok so I get my most of my money back and I use their phone and start calling hotels, which wasn't working out too well. Then I decided to call the hotel I normally stay in, and miracle, they had a room only because the customers left two hours before. "Come right away madam, we will clean the room for you!" OK
So I get down the three flights, my knees crunching the entire time from the weight. It's now 1:45 am, and raining and yeah, the bags. Do you think I could find an English speaking rickshaw driver? NOPE! I was so pissed with 1o rickshaw drivers all around me, yelling "Where you want go madam?" Noone knows where my hotel is, although I know it's like a five minute walk from there. Finally an older driver, with great English shows up and he wants 150 rupees to take me around the block. However, he speaks English and knows where my hotel is so I go for it. Then I smell the liquor on his breath. OH FUCK ME NOW.

Ok but he does know where it is, and when I get out, I tell him 100 rupees only come one, I am so broke.....and I give him 100 even though its a rip off and I jump out, dragging my backpack on the ground at this point. He drives off, it's raining, the gate to my hotel is locked, it's 2 am. So, I had to yell and pound until they heard me and came out. Ok, once inside the gates of the YWCA International Guest House on 10 Sansad Marg, near Connaught Circus, I knew I was going to be ok. I have put the entire name, because it is the BEST affordable hotel in Delhi and the people are angels.

So, I get my overpriced room but I do NOT care, there is a clean bathroom, no rats, a tv, a clean bed, two clean beds, a heater, hot(ish) water, and I am finally home. Time from hotel in Jaipur to hotel in Delhi, 9 hours.
My god, I cannot believe my night. Now, as it turns out, I get to stay here all three nights, although I have to move rooms, but I do not care. I found a bank, got a cash advance, after they harrassed be because my credit card says SUSIE and my passport says SUSAN....finally got some rupees, now I need to find something to eat because the restaurant near my hotel is closed for remodeling. That was my food in Delhi and now I need to stake out some clean food elsewhere. Delhi though, is like Los Angeles, sprawling, gigantic, just frightening.

OK so glad I brought some raisins, peanuts, and granola with me because that is all I have had since noon yesterday.

And, above all, congratulate myself for surviving last night AND for having the forsight to buy whiskey in Jaipur because after a night like that, a shot of whiskey is a little bit of heaven at 2 am!
I am ok now, off to find some food and smaller clothes! BTW I look like a bloody dirty tramp, my pants are filthy and hanging off. I just cannot stand it.

I will not jump, I will fly.

Love Susie

17 comments:

Blissfully Wed said...

No one flies like you. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

And my customers think they have it rough when they wait 20 minutes at the airport for their seven-minute, complimentary ride to my hotel. Sheesh. ;)

Leesa said...

Amazing story Susie :)

mr ratburn said...

you go girl!
rip them all a new one...
this is why i was so comfortable in india..i knew we could take on anything
this event sums up the good/bad in one moment
see ya in a few days
g

lime said...

good gravy, it sounds like a horror. glad you ultimately found a little slice of clean heaven in delhi and can actually stay there all 3 nights. rest up from the trauma that was traveling and safe journey home.

can't wait to see the bedspreads. you selling them? for the right price, madam, i may buy one;)

TK Kerouac said...

You are such a trooper! Love your stories!

Logophile said...

There ya go, small but vicious, thats all you really need.
:D

AndyT13 said...

I need to read this in detail bit I wanted to wish you fair travels. You are much loved ya big loser.

BTExpress said...

I'm glad you made it safe and sound, but after reading this, I will never, ever, ever go to India. I'm just to spoiled I guess.

SignGurl said...

Oh, Susie! You've had a rough go of it. I hope the rest of your trip is better.

Sis said...

OMG!

Mariposa said...

I like how you handle that guy who wanted to harass you and I'm glad to hear that you are fine now!

Wow! You are impressive!

Mona said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
S said...

Hi everyone!
I keep deleting Mona's comments because she is leaving me telephone numbers of her friends here and there....
I wish I could just delete the numbers but that is not possible.
These comments are like treasures to me and I love them all!

G-Man said...

Holy Shit Susie..
Did Strumpet write this post?
Wow...an Epic!!
You Rock Trash Girl!!!!
Be safe...Galen
xoxox

Fortress Guinness said...

oh my goodness....!!!!!!!!!!!!
war and f*ckin peace...!!! lmao ;)
my god, you do love to get into the odd scrape dont you my dear...??? lol glad you got through it anyway...!!! xxx

Akelamalu said...

Oh my good Lord! I bet you can't wait to get home!

BKS said...

Wow such an amazing adventure and after reading that I myself need a drink haha. . Hope the rest goes smoothly.