Thursday, January 18, 2007

Run for the border...

I have been in Delhi for the past few days running around like a rat in a maze. Go do this, go do that, talk to them... and the usual response: Next! I have been thwarted from embassy to embassy to foreign affairs offices with no results. My Indian visa has expired as of yesterday and now I am an illegal alien. My options were to leave yesterday (without a visa to any other country) or to book an airline ticket and have a confirmed exit date.

The other tourists in the office overheard my pleas to gain an exit visa and they offered comforting support and advise. Many of them have had friends or family have their visas expire and had to pay a fine to leave India. Some payed some bakshish (the phrase for bribes here) to the customs officials to look the other way. My options are limited. I was considering making a run for the border but that might be a risk I cannot afford. With possibilities like 'return to Delhi' or possible deportation I've opted to try one more time at acquiring an exit visa.

I have to provide confirmed travel proof of leaving India before they will grant me the exit visa. So this means I have to get a ticket booked and somehow have it faxed to me where I have no possibility of receiving a fax. It's great fun. So for now, I am stuck in Delhi and disliking a better part of it.

The only up side is that I have good people whom I keep company with and are fabulously Canadian. Last night I went to my first movie in India, something I've been waiting for for sometime. The seats were really narrow, obviously ergonomically designed for the small Indian in mind. The seats swivelled to allow for a relaxed position if you like having your knees kissing the bottom of your chin.

I am absolutely freezing in Delhi and can't manage to keep warm. I was wearing four layers of clothing yesterday morning and still my teeth were chattering. After being in the south and having such a simple existence, this Delhi business is not up my alley. It's by far the trendiest and flakiest place I've been in India. It's very odd to see sheep obey so obediently to Page 3's and city publications instructing where to eat or where to shop or even what to wear. It's nothing new coming from the consumerist lands of North America, but the following is devout here. I prefer the real India of small villages and cities.

There is a small experiment I conduct while I travel and that is simply to smile and say hello to people. The inner child is only a smile away with Indians - you smile at them and their eyes light up. This is not the case in Delhi. Yesterday I counted how many responses I received... out of a staggering 54 smiles and hello's I only received 14 smiles and 3 hello's back. It's just very odd to experience one side and then see the other side. I love India and from the bumper stickers... India is Great! But I just want to get out of here and be with family. The sanctuary of family is something I am truly missing.

4 comments:

  1. I have seen your blog and I found a lot of interesting Content... So good image and some good art... I invite you to see mine at here

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't seen your blog and doubt there is any 'good image and some good art' in yours. I invite you to go to hell or else try Delhi... it's pretty close.

    ;) Have a nice day

    ReplyDelete
  3. good response to this guys comments. made me laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you... thank you. I'm here all week... try the Paneer ;)

    ReplyDelete

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