I just have no idea where or when I am anymore.
So we landed uneventfully and went to claim our luggage. Normally the last place I would exchange currency is an airport arrivals, but the Indian Rupee is a closed currency. So we didn’t really have much choice. We each changed £100 at a terrible rate and grabbed a bottle of water from a Replay (is this a worldwide version of smiths’ that only exists is airports?)
The taxi driver was waiting for us and with a friendly smile and handshake, he picked the smallest, lightest suitcase and we went off to find the taxi. He pulls the taxi up and it’s a bit of a squeeze with the luggage but he makes it work. My colleagues had prepared me for a rollercoaster ride of near death experiences, but we had a chilled out driver and the trip was mostly uneventful.
The roads are full to the brim of painted trucks and buses- as bright as possible, yellow and green Tuk tucks, taxis and hundreds of mopeds. Entire families ride about in flip flops swerving betweeen moving traffic and earning the infamous honking that India is so identified with. People walk out into the path of trucks, cows are spotted down side roads and street dogs lope about in search of breakfast. The Bhangra music on the taxi radio and the blood red sun rise set the scene for a memorable first taxi trip in India.
We arrive, check in and collapse onto our beds. The rooms are far larger and more luxurious than I’m used to (it’s usually a bunk bed without a ladder in the corner of a small room of boys) and I sneak a nap in before meeting the girls for a late breakfast. I eat light with just cereal and fruit and sneak back to the room for another nap.
Come 13:30 we are downstairs looking like the walking dead- ready to start a full days work. Another uneventful taxi ride (apparently I’m the lucky charm) and a quick negotiation of the maze of elevators, we are handed security passes- which predictably don’t work. I get introduced to the team members that I haven’t met yet and the day begins. 8 hours later, we are all exhausted from the constant training questions and we head for the taxi home.
A slightly more aggressive taxi driver gets us over the huge speed bumps and home in record time. We order a cocktail each and play a long game of pool before the drinks even arrive. We vent about the day, then head up to the room after deciding gym and breakfast times for tomorrow. We are ever optimistic!
The Budget Adventurer