Ticket to Delhi: Even being understood was part of the trickiness, as I found out myself when wishing to travel from Agra, where I’d been staying with my girlfriend, back to Delhi to meet a new group. Now Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal must be one of the worlds most visited cities and anyone flying in to Delhi would make the detour wherever possible.
So when I presented myself at the ticket office window, having spent a little while ensuring I was in the right queue, I was confident of getting my ticket back to Delhi without any difficulty. My request for ‘One first class ticket to Delhi please’ was met with utter puzzlement and a raising of eyebrows. ‘Where?’ the beleaguered ticket office clerk asked, and I repeated my request for a ticket to Delhi.
This drew a small knot of people around me at the ticket window, each offering a suggestion to another and finally to the ticket clerk of where they thought I was talking about. This seriously took about ten minutes of bafflement, and a growing crowd, some of whom were getting very impatient to get to the ticket office themselves. ‘Delhi’ I said again as clearly enunciated as I could, ‘the capital city !’
Finally, a chorus of ‘Ooooh, Delhi, Delhi he is saying’ brought relief to the ticket clerks face, as he realised what was wanted, but disbelief to mine as I asked what they had thought I was asking for. I mean, Delhi, Delhi, how many ways can there be to say this, and for gods sake it must be one of the commonest destinations for a foreigner travelling by train out of Agra station. Cripes.