Delhi’s reputation precedes itself as a polluted, dirty, messy and unsafe city. As much as we hate biases, sometimes they just have a point.
Delhi is no piece of cake, and for us it is and will remain the place where we got scammed the night we landed in India and where, few weeks later, we spent a full day in the police station to decide the destiny of the crooks that fooled us and that were held in custody there.
We came to appreciate our experience now, as we learned so much about ourselves and travelling thanks to it. Plus, it comes in handy as the perfect “India story” across strangers we meet in our travels!
Long story short: at our arrival in Delhi at 3.30 am we take the wrong taxi, whose driver, after making us believe that our hostel cannot accomodate us for the night, drives us to an “offical” info point in the city center. There, after 2 solid hours of seeking options, we are convinced that Delhi is a mess because of Diwali (the main holiday in India) and to get a cab to Dehradun to visit a friend (7 hours drive away) for 10.000 rupies (130€). When we finally reach Dehradun by 12.30, we find out our friend never invited us over and is not even in town (back then we felt desperate but we now find this hilarious)! We thus check with the other people we contacted overnight (hostel and indian friends), only to find out nobody got a call from us, and so we realize that the crooks orchestrated the fraud to get us out of Delhi and overcharge the taxi fare. We turn to the police, that in two weeks finds the bad guys and puts them in jail. We are called to Delhi to confront them, get our money back and decide to drop our formal charges against them.
This whole experience has been stressful and educational at the same time! Here’s some lessons learnt:
Lesson learnt #1: we are aware that someone will always take advantage of our trust and naivety, but we largely prefer to get scammed from time to time than to live in fear and suspicion.
Lesson learnt #2: we are not comfortable with the power of deciding of others’ lives, karma will take care of it for good.
Lesson learnt #3: you should aways put yourself in others’ shoes, do not just assume someone else’s interests is aligned to yours.
Lesson learnt #4: always do what feels right to you, even if it’s uncomfortable (like driving 15 hours back and forth Delhi to resolve a small fraud)
Lesson learnt #5: always get a local sim card while travelling and do not rely on others, or at least double check if they are trustworthy.
Bye bye Delhi, you won’t be missed, but we are grateful you shaked us for good!