Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Delhi Interstate Bus Terminal (ISBT)

[note: it has come to my attention that people may be coming to this page to search wtf the ISBT in Delhi is all about, so I'm adding a pre-paragraph of everything I actually remember about the station. It's at the Kashmir Gate metro stop, and it's about 90 Rs by rickshaw from VasantKunj, way down south. When the rickshaw driver dropped me off, there was someone there asking me where I was going, and he told me which stall to go to, so he must have legitimately worked there. There's a confusing pathway from the road to inside the stall, at least to stall 43, where I was catching my bus to Dehradun/Uttaranchal. There is an information booth, and they may be able to help--I had a guy who wasn't fluent in English, but was at least willing to try to communicate. They will be yelling the name of the desintations usually, and you have to jump on the bus first to claim your seat. I didn't buy a ticket in advance. It was annoying because I had to get a stranger to watch my big suitcase so I could claim a seat, then come back out and get the suitcase under the bus. I lucked out that the stranger was trustworthy, but it's hard to travel alone if you have a lot of stuff. Anyway, a little ways through the trip, they'll come selling the tickets, and you just pay them cash. To Dehradun it was about Rs 275 I think...really can't remember, but it was an AC bus, which I thought was quite comfortable, even in the very back, but maybe I'm used to Indian roads by now.

Now, if you have a question about the Dehradun ISBT, you're out of luck. That one completely defeated me. I just know vikram 5 gets you there, and a taxi can get you away from there to Delhi for about 2500, which is useful when they start auctioning off your bus between Delhi and Jaipur, which is what happened to me. Feel free to leave a comment or send a message otherwise if you have other questions. I'll try to answer them. If I can get any use out of my helpless travel experiences, I will be glad]

Am right now in the most desperately confusing bus station, trying to get to Dehradun. you might wonder how I'm calmly writing in my journal while standing up and standing guard over the World's Largest Suitcase. I assure you it's only to calm my nerves by finding the experience a wacky time, trying by writing about it in the present tense to make it into a fun "remember when" experience in advance, rather than the stressor it threatens to be now. Or something. I'll let you know when this method starts working.

I think I actually have figured out something about when my bus is going, and I might even understand when the bus with AC is going, so I'm waiting for that one, and also waiting to see if my theory is correct. My theory about when the bus leaves. It's like physics--you can prove something with guesses and math, but it's onlly as useful as much as it can predict things in the real world. Ergh. This writing is helping a little bit, but I still think a better theory about what will destress me in this situation is needed. Chocolate also didn't help much ,which may just mean I'm too far gone. And now I'm attracting beggars from standing still so long. Nothing destresses me like Western guilt. Yeah. Great.

But it reminds me of a funny story from the rickshaw ride over here. Every stop had adorable kids tugging at my heartstrings, some selling flowers or latest issues of Cosmo ("number 75!" as they point proudly to the issue and volume number). But at one stop, a lady came up (a well-fed looking lady) with a wad of 10's already in her hand, hit me on the head, clapped her hands very masculinely, and demanded "Give me money!" I actually laughed, but she was dead serious, so I added "Uh, no." And she clapped again and put her hand out: "Give me money!!" Again! I said I didn't have any, did the empty hands gesture, and she leaned to my auto driver and said something in Hindi, which I assume was "Watch out, your fare has no money" said sarcastically because he laughed, and she left somewhat annoyed with me. Some people! But it kept making me laugh the whole rest of the way.

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