My (short) ode to Indian Transportation

Before heading to India, Leslie gave us a checklist of things to do or see.  I am happy to say that we checked off most of the list.  Some of the more interesting items were the different modes of transportation in Delhi (and beyond).  We took a car, taxi, auto rickshaw, bike tuk tuk, the metro, and the scariest of them all…..walking.  Trying to cross the street was like playing a game of frogger….and thank goodness we didn’t forget that they drive on the other side of the road when we were looking for traffic.  There doesn’t seem to be any speed limits, and I didn’t see many street lights or stop signs, at least not as many as there should be.  It made it fun, a simple crossing of the street was taking my life in my hands, which added to the whole experience.

The easiest and safest was the Metro.  Anyone can figure it out, it costs the equivalent of $.50 to go anywhere, and its clean.  I know Leslie mentioned it before, but I love the “ladies only” train cars.  I didn’t ride in one, but there were at least 2 times when a man offered me his seat.  After 5 years of living in Chicago, I can count the number of times that happened on one hand.  Plus all the stops were announced in English (although you could have asked just about anyone if you got confused). 

The cabs are really cute, and never pricy (about $3).  We took an auto rickshaw all around New Delhi for half a day, and it was only about $4….plus he gave us a tour of the city.  Granted, he tried getting us to go to countless “tourist offices” where he could get a commission on tours we would book through them….don’t fall for that scam.  We took the bike version of the same thing when we went to Old Delhi.  The streets are so narrow that it is about the only way to get around unless you walk.  It’s a maze though, so I”m glad we had someone to show us the ropes (and some good food). 

When we got out of the city, we saw people taking any number of animals to get around.  We saw someone on an elephant on the road, some camels, donkeys, horses, goats, and other various (non riding) animals….such as a cobra, monkeys, sheep, and others.  I think a camel down the highway would be interesting….something to save for next time.

So there you have it….the fun ways of travel in such an interesting country!

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