Finally, it is time to tell the tale of the eventful Diwali weekend trip to New Delhi and Agra, India. It all began after work last Thursday…
The beginning of a trip is usually the most uneventful, but this was not the case this time. Apparently there existed a communication gap between myself and the bus ticketing people – they told me I had a ticket on November 8th when I actually didn’t/they double booked my seat. That posed a problem, as they had 6 buses going to Bangalore/Hyderabad – all full. I had to put on my “boorish American” hat to get some results. Finally, I was able to start making the trek to Northern India.
When we got to Kempe Gowda Bus Station in Bangalore, I figured the bus driver would pull in and stop for a second – I figured wrong. It was basically a rolling stop, where I had to hop out of the bus and make my way through the throngs of travelers during the Diwali festival. After making my way through the crowds, I soon found myself in a place of solace – where things are simpler and more beautiful – that place was the local KFC. (Interesting side note – at Indian fast food places, the workers are usually all very presentable, with clean uniforms and a smile on their faces. The actual eateries are clean enough to perform surgery on. It’s like they actually care about their job or something – what’s up with that?)
I soon had to play telephone tag with my cab driver that was taking me to Infosys Bangalore, but after some initial confusion, I made it to Gate 6 of Infosys at Electronics City. I finally was able to get my room at the hostel complex and crash for a few hours.
At 2:15 AM, I got my wakeup call and had to get ready for our early, early flight. My travel partner, Jen and I met in the lobby and got in a Tata Motors Indica that took us to Bangalore/Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Airport to catch our flight on IndiGo Airlines to Delhi.
Our flight left at around 6:30 AM and as we took off, I couldn’t help but think that Bangalore at dawn looked like so many strands of festive Diwali lights. I had the entire exit row to myself and actually sprawled out across 3 seats – it was glorious. We arrived in Delhi at Indira Gandhi International Airport at around 8:30 AM, got on a bus that took us literally 30 meters to the terminal, then proceeded to get a prepaid taxi to our hotel – this is where the real fun begins.