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Delirium by the Taj Mahal
d_Rishikesh-Delhi-Agra

Delirium by the Taj Mahal

Being sick in India

2018. május 01.

After escaping from Chandigarh I went to Rishikesh, which is a massive tourist trap. But to be honest, after this gigantic concrete nightmare I was craving for cute cafés and hostels with colorful walls.

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organic, gluten-free and sugarfree

Although the heart chakra of the Earth is in Dobogókő (Hungary) -Hahahah-, all the yoga chakras unite in Rishikesh under the protecting wings of a gigantic yoga cartel. I knew that everything was about yoga here, but since yoga doesn’t interest me at all, it doesn’t even bother me normally. But this level of madness can’t go unnoticed.

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Meditation centres, yoga educational institutions, courses and trainings one after the other in the area, and the organic fascism is common trait of tourists here. Coca-Cola is the only exception of this. Even the ones who suck low fat milk directly from the udders of the cows lying on the ground while murmuring hindi chants drink Coca Cola.

img_6346.jpgbreakfast of the yogagirl

Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of the 100% organic product called Yoga Bar in the supermarket, the only legitimate food before or after a yoga sesh.

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The madness of serving these idiots went to the point, where I couldn’t get my chai masala made from other than soy or almond milk, and obviously I couldn’t get sugar in it, only sweetener. All this costed 70 rupees. Normally on the street you can get this for 15, and beyond all the spices it’s based on fatty cow milk and an excessive amount of sugar. This one however didn’t taste good, but at least it came along with a gluten-free, expensive cake.

img_6334.jpgThe Lakshman Jhula Bridge

Obviously I met Julian in this café. The dude I called Coelho on two wheels. I met him in Iran, he also was about to ride his motorbike to India through Pakistan. He was also looking for travel buddies, but after stalking his facebook and seeing all those motivational self-help quotes, I rather excused myself from tagging along. Than we met accidentally somewhere in Iran and realised he is such a nice big hearted guy! 

img_6358.jpgThis service I didn’t ask for

Turns out, he couldn’t get a Pakistani visa in Iran, so he left the motorbike behind and continued backpacker style. He was just about to start a long yoga course, and he was talking about how he feels he is finally ready to fall in love, at which point I felt like if I have to leave him alone and I hope he found peace!

img_6316.jpgThere were some cool faces in the city

The 3 basic types of tourists in Rishikesh:

1: Young guys in “Om” t-shirts and drums under their arms.  

2: Girls in colorful leggings or batik t-shirts with yoga mats, minimum in pairs.

3: Old hippies wearing sandals with socks on scooters.

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WHY, OH WHY?!

I know I’m a cynical asshole, but I felt like I can tolerate and accept anything in this world except how these miserable white people behave here.

So the consequence was that after three days of organic and gluten-free India I decided my motorbike can bring my absolution from the yoga terror, and we are off to Delhi.

Driving in India

Delhi is only 220 km away from Rishikesh. I didn’t understand why Google said it was gonna take 6 hours, but by now I learnt that Big Brother is almost never wrong, and of course this time wasn’t an exception either. Or yes, because it took me 8 instead of 6. I have been driving in many places and seen many types of traffic jams, but nothing can prepare you neither mentally nor physically for becoming part of a 220 km long Indian traffic monster.

Looking at it is nice, being in it wasn’t

I knew I must be really tired when I caught myself shouting and swearing in Hungarian with an innocent dude who just wanted to talk to me a little, while I’m in a life and death fight with 324 other bikers for a 1m diameter of empty spot in the middle of piles of shit, that would mean 3,5 m advantage in the traffic.

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At the end I finally reached Delhi, where the traffic was so insanely terrible, that the last 800m took me an hour to do. Sometimes we didn’t move for long minutes on a street where there was not a single car, only bicycles, motorbikes and rickshaws. Not even the pedestrians could move sometimes. I’ve never experienced something this hopeless before.

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There is an inspirational side to the Indian traffic. I was thinking that instead of giving fines to people for driving too fast or dunk, we should send them to Delhi on a motorbike and give them the challenge to take 1000 km in 3 days. Until they make it, they can’t return home. I don’t think there would be anyone violating the rules after this.

img_6420.jpgHey Mister want some tires?

None of the big cities in India are places where you’d want to spend a lot of time, and that’s extremely valid when it comes to Delhi. Still somehow I was stuck here for 5 days. Time has passed quite well, I was making and editing a lot of videos, tried all kinds of local foods and entertainments. A famous dude from a local adventure biker community reached out to me, and we spent a long and adventurous night together, and I somehow ended up at Fat Boy Customs, where I left my bike for a little maintenance, and I was soon about to go home for Christmas.

the tax for being an idiot

I was sitting relaxed with my laptop knowing that my plane leaves at 1:30 AM the next day. So I kept myself busy with my things until I looked at top right corner of my screen that told me it’s the 20th of December 1:35 AM, and my plane is probably taking off right now, not the next day as I was thinking. It filled me with great sadness to realise just what a miserable idiot I am, but I knew that my whole family would be really sad if I didn’t get home, so right there and then I bought ticket for the plane at 4 AM. I threw my things into my bag, and I was whipping my poor rickshaw driver until I finally made it.

See you next year honey!

I knew that if the first trip of a return ticket doesn’t happen, the way back will be invalid too, so I ran to the Lufthansa desk at the airport to tell them, even though I missed my first flight, I’d still want to use my return ticket.

To my biggest surprise they said it will be all fine, they will put a remark next to my name, and I will only have to pay a reissuing fee. They advised me to call my local customer service upon arrival.

img_6421.jpgWhy are they honking all the time, everywhere? The best horn shop in town! HORN OK PLEASE!

I arrived with a 3 hours delay and about 400 EUR shorter, but happier than ever to my little family. I called Lufthansa almost straight away, the customer service was very kindly informing me that they see the remark next to my name, no problem, I would only have to pay the difference. And that difference was about 2000 EUR. It’s my fault, I know this is the rule, but I’m never ever gonna sit on a Lufthansa flight - that is for sure. I can say as much about this story as I did to the CS: “Thank you, good bye….” And once I hung up the phone I soon added in my head: “...fuck you sideways” It wasn’t her fault...

Tourist in my own life

I spent an amazing 18-days at home. I was planning 14 originally, but since the ticket was a lot cheaper, I added an extra 4 days in my home hotel.

It was honestly so good at home, that I could barely got myself to fly back to India, let alone sit on a motorbike, but do I have a choice? I arrived in Delhi at 6:30 AM, spent 3 hours at the airport, then rushed over to Fat Boy to pick up my bike. I wanted to jump right on it and head to Agra. But once I arrived I felt that I was too tired for this fun ride.

Fat Boy has barely done anything from the list I gave them in the last 18 days.

To be precise, they changed my back tire, I could see my used tire on the owner’s bike. They just finished the washing, but they didn’t manage to do the tappet adjustment, even though this was the first thing I asked whether they could do or not. I even sent them the factory manual and the official metrics to make sure it goes well. I witnessed how they couldn’t glue back my broken indicator, then grabbed the bike, found a hotel, and dropped dead.

Delirium in Agra

I slept more than 12 hours almost without moving, and when I got to my consciousness I knew there was something wrong, I’m sick. At this point I was full of hope that this is gonna pass soon, so I pulled myself together, sat on the bike, and drove to Agra. I arrived at 4 PM, and from 6 PM to 8 AM I slept again, this time with headache, cold shivers, coughing etc. I managed to import a perfect flu.

img_6502.jpgFind the error on the image

I still wasn’t too worried, I thought I would stay another day in bed, and I will be over it. So I spent the whole day in my dirty hotel, but at night I started to feel particularly shitty, and my headache was like someone hit a 60d nail in my brain, but luckily my eye stopped the damage. In the morning I managed to go to a pharmacy, asked for medication, and I woke up in the morning cheerful for the sun!

img_6503.jpgI don’t think she got that

Full of hope, I went to see the Taj Mahal. I always thought it was big, but it turned out to be a lot bigger. I always thought there are a lot of tourists there, but there was a lot more than I thought. I had a very distinct memory of the Taj Mahal. I was in secondary, when my English teacher brought an article to class to translate. It was about how the air pollution is damaging the rocks of the Taj Mahal and how the entire building is eroding consequently. First, I can thank the word “pollution” for this, second, I could check this with my own eyes and conclude that the marble is still intact, the building is in good condition. Also, I don’t think it’s any more exciting than any mausoleum I have visited before. One thing I’m sure of though: I’d be pretty fucking pissed if there would be this many miserable tourists around my grave every day, not letting me rest in peace with their never-ending stream of selfies. I think my grave won’t even attract a dog to pee on, so I think I won’t have this problem.

I’m fine! Or not!

The next day I truly thought I was better, I really wanted to leave Agra, but at least my dirty hostel where I’ve been sick now for 4 days. I sat on the motor, and I felt that I wasn’t entirely fine, but I thought to myself: getting better starts with getting out of this death town. I managed to go about 7-8 km, when I realised I’m actually doing really bad, and I’m not able to drive. It kinda felt like I was super high having some mild hallucinations. In this condition one can’t drive, but to ride a motorbike in this condition in India, is absolutely impossible. Like a victim, I surrendered, and turned around to the hotel, and I was really close to crying, it felt just so utterly hopeless.

I asked the reception at the hotel to call me a doctor, who arrived within an hour. He touched me here and there, then gave me about 3 handful of drugs, and said I should take all these in the next 3 days. I asked if it wasn’t a bit too much by any chance, I have never been so sick that I needed 5-6 different type of medication at once. Then he took away half of it, and said this was probably enough. That’s when I knew it was a waste of time calling dr. Indian Mengele here.

An hour later I managed to talk to my doctor friend on London, who suggested me to take a certain antibiotics. So I got my strength back after two days taking that. I fought death, and didn’t take off the motorbike until Jaipur!

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