India population about 1,2 billion
Delhi population about 18 million
Delhi male population about 10 million
So please explain the following;
We leave Delhi airport and while figuring out how to negotiate the metro system a kind chap asked us where we were going and told us which train ticket to get to which station. I checked with the ticket guy at the kiosk and all good so far…..down at the platform (and this is a state of the art metro system) the helpful chap appears and stars asking Sharki3 questions about where we are from etc so I do the same with him and he says he works at the airport in baggage handling and he has finished his shift.
We all board the train and we obviously sit away from him….the 30 mins journey passes by smoothly on this clean and quiet train and yes surprise, surprise he gets off at our station….coincidence I hear you say.
Outside the station I see him talking with the tuktuk drivers when we are approaching, anyhow the hotel is only a few minutes away so we jump in a tuktuk for the short ride.
We have got about 200 meters away from the metro on the right road when this strange man jumps out and stops the tuktuk telling us we cannot go down the road because it’s closed and that our hotel is also closed, (he does not know what hotel we are staying in….) he has words in Hindi with the tuktuk driver and we are told by the man we should go to the tourist office and they can arrange a hotel for us….
Now you can read this story and think “really” is that true but I kid you not….so Sharki3 and I go the attack demanding to know who the hell this guy is and he starts backing down, we ring hotel and they say wait there and they will come fetch us…..needless to say the hotel is open….man disappeared into the night.
Not finished yet!
So the following morning we venture to one of the many government train stations with clear directions and instructions firmly embedded in our heads how to get tickets for our trip to Jaipur.
Guess who we bump into at the train station? Yes. You guessed it, the very helpful chap from the previous night, same clothes, same friendliness….
We were then stopped by another helpful executive of the station who told us that the tourist office was closed and had been relocated…..guess where to? Yes. The tourist centre. So having had enough of being jostled and no sign of the ticket counter we headed out for a day to do some touristy stuff.
At the end of the day we waked by the tourist office as it is close to our hotel and lo and behold it is really a travel agent with a couple of smooth operators who tried selling us very expensive train tickets and hotels we did not need.
I don’t know how much you believe in coincidences or you are skeptical of helpful people in train stations.
Me for one don’t believe in the odds of meeting the same guy in two different locations within 12 hours when there are 18 million others….
I know while you are reading this you would be saying that you would be prepared for any scam, but I tell you these are elaborate and you can’t quite piece them 100% but your gut tells you something isn’t right. Remember you could be tired, lost, confused, carrying luggage and being harassed all day and someone is actually helpful….we were prepared but could have got scammed easily.