Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting lost with Rahul

There is no way I'd ever drive in India. Nobody wants tourists driving here, so companies hire drivers for their visitors. My driver, Rahul, picked me up at the international airport in Delhi very early this morning, and is supposed to take me to and from work each day.

Rahul seems to be a very nice and friendly man. I will never know if his friendliness is sincere, or just a tactic to get a better tip, but I think he is a genuinely nice man. He has a warm smile that not everyone is able to pull off. The various security guards who smile as they open the door for hotel guests are examples.

Almost immediately Rahul asked me about my wife and kids and told me about his. He has been married for 6 years and has 2 kids, ages 1 year and 6 months. I'm not sure how that's biologically possible.

Rahul got me to my hotel efficiently, but the rush-hour ride from the hotel to work didn't go as smoothly. What should have been a 30 minute ride became a 90 minute ride because Rahul didn't know where he was going.

This was the view from the office where I was working. I'm not sure why I was in such a hurry to get there.

We found ourselves driving on unpaved side-streets lined with poor people, trash and cows. Rahul asked each pedestrian we passed for help. The answers he received were short, so I think he was asking if he was headed in the right direction.

That approach could eventually result in success, but actually asking for directions would probably be more efficient.

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