plight of the touts

24hr touts

Touts work in the airport 24 hr per day

They are persistent, vicious and shameless. Their sole purpose in life is to help the stranded travelers getting rid of their excessive cash.

Indians, besides the touts, are fairly friendly people. Even the touts, albeit nasty, are nevertheless friendly in their own way.

Upon arrival, I was instantly greeted by a thorn of vicious touts. Despite my persistent refusal, their fighting spirit never falters. Eventually, after my failure to locate the airport bus, and my mind twisted into a chaotic state of confusion, I gave up, like a little lamb drowned in a crowd of wolves.

I emphasized to the tout taxi driver that I had travel to Delhi many times, but I didn't sound too convincing. He quickly showed me the so called Delhi train station, which he said was closed. I pretended I knew what he was talking about, which in fact gave him the confirmation that I was a green dumb tourist, probably very rich.

He tried to trick me into his recommended hotels, and then to the non existing tourist information center. I politely refused him with a few F-words. After so, he kindly dropped me in the middle of nowhere, at 1:00am. The street looked dead, such a perfect place for a dumb tourist to be murdered. Fortunately most Indians are friendly vegetarians. In any other modern cities, I probably would end up mugged or dead or both.

So, middle of night at middle of nowhere, I found a friendly autoricksaw driver. I haggle him to a reasonable price (yes, I still have the mood to haggle), and he took me to the New Delhi train station (the real one). I thanked him and paid him.

Of course, I was instantly helped by the many midnight touts who never seem to need sleep.

I am in a very good mood now for I finally locate the train station. I fenced off the touts with kind words and friendly smiles and dashed into the Main Bazaar, which, in my spoiled western mind, would be a perfect place to call slum.

My journey to the Metropolis Tourists Home was long and arduous. I was persistently threatened by vicious canines and hassled by nagging touts.
Need room? No.
Need room? No.
Need room? No.
Need room? Which part of no you don't understand?
Need room? No.
Bark! Bark! Bark! (The barking was from the dogs, touts don't bark, usually)
It went on and on.
I passed many wandering holy cows. And many people slept on the street, some asleep, some dead (OK maybe just look like dead)

After a whole km of walking with my gigantic 30 pounds backpack, and after many deceptions from the touts, I finally reached the beloved Metropolis Tourist Home, which I instantly suspected whether worthy of the whole effort..

The hotel was said to be mid range, according to Lonely Planet, but, in fact, it looked a bit seedy from the outside. I went in, greeted by a friendly staff who hold true to my reservation.


The room was seedy (but after later traveling through India, I decided to call it great). The bed sheet might look kind of clean in a few meters away (but again that is quite an unreasonably luxury request in here). It had hot water (which I later learnt was extremely rare.) The bath towel had many holes and looked kind of grayish. But it had many lights. It took me a full five minutes to switch on and off all the lights. It might sound a bit sarcastic; I think it is a pretty acceptable place to stay. Compare with other equally affordable midrange hotels in Delhi, this is a pretty good place to stay, especially for the friendly and helpful staffs.

Of course, after such exciting night, I couldn't sleep at all.

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