Saturday, 11 June 2016

First day in India

Everything started on the 5th of February 2016.

After many adventures to get my visa I closed my backpack and took the car to reach Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. Unfortunately, there was a taxi strike (France you know!) and my departure depended on them. I wasn't sure that I will catch my plane because traffic was blocked for several kilometers to the entrance of the airport.

FINALLY I reached the airport, I ran as a crazy girl to register my baggage and I entered in the plane 5 minutes before the closure of boarding the plane. I found my colleague who will travel with me for the next few days. I was too stressed and I wanted to vomit, anyway I was in the plane guys!

8 hours after, we arrived in Indira Ghandi International Airport in Delhi. We didn't have any cash, any local money (smart) … No problem we were sure that it will be possible to get money in the ATM outside the airport. So we left the airport to get money but of course all of them were out of order otherwise it was not funny.

No worries, we tried to go back in the airport to get money. Of course, as the security told us it was impossible because we didn't have any plane to take. Damn we are blocked in the airport, without any money it's impossible to take the subway or the taxi to reach the main railway station..We wasted so much time to talk with the security hoping to enter in the airport. No way, even with our best smile it was not possible.

After I don't remember how much time we found a miracle, a sweet woman told us that her son will help us. We met her son, Ashia, he was so nice almost too nice that it felt weird. He called a taxi for us and asked him to drop us at an ATM in Delhi. He joined us in the taxi... I didn't really understand why and I had the impression to be in a scene of Taken 1.

Taken 1 scene

Fortunately the following is less dramatic.

Finally the taxi dropped us at the ATM, we had money, we said bye bye, thank you to Ashia, and the next incredible adventure could start. Few hours after, we reached the railway station to buy a train to reach Gajner, which is in Rajasthan, where we were expected for our induction.

There were so many people in the railway station but unfortunately from that billion people we asked to buy a ticket to the wrong person. The man told us that is impossible to buy a ticket here because we are foreigners. 

Typical situations in Indian Railway Stations

Because we are young, naive (and super tired for my defense..), we followed him in a governmental foreigners office.

He told us that there is no train, no bus, a big event in Delhi which meant that it will be impossible for us to find any hotel. He told us that he can provide us a taxi to reach Gajner. 

We knew that the man was lying to us, anyway the night fell, I don't want to spend more time in Delhi, this crazy city, and we are already late for our Induction. So unwillingly we accepted his proposition, took a taxi from Delhi to Gajner and pay 10 times more than if we took the train.

The way from Delhi to Gajner

Conviced to take a taxi was the best solution because I could sleep serenely and arrive fresh to the Induction...I was completely wrong ! Impossible to close my eyes since I realized I was about to cross the country with someone that I didn't know 5 minutes before.

To summarize,after throught the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, and going throughout several checkpoints, the taxi man who was supposed to drop us in Gajner, left us at 5 am on the side of the road (in Bikaner) 45 minutes from Gajner.

Definitely motivated to join Gajner, we took a rickshaw from Bikaner to Gajner at 5 am, in the most bitter cold of the desert in February. 

Travelling in the Rickshaw!

FINALLY around 6 am we arrived in Gajner and I don't know how we found the headquarters of EduCARE. Daniela, the experience coordinator was here to accomodate us with her best smile.

Ready for the next 4 months. Let's go, Jammin together!

Lina Machrouh - France
Women's Empowerment Project Manager in Rait

No comments:

Post a Comment