Business trip to Kota, my first time out of Delhi and my first train ride in India. No people on the roof, but I spent hours on the open doors: Impressions from another planet. Other passengers, fascinated by my camera, insist on pictures and comment on my regrets over missed photo moments: “fast-fast”.
After a night in the comfortable guesthouse of the client company and a day of friendly meetings, my colleagues dropped me at the pre-booked hotel near the train station and left. But the clerk at the reception refused to let me in: “too much hassle registering foreigners”. As soon as I left, the gentle rain turned into a waterfall. A moment later electricity was cut, the chaos of the streets lay in complete darkness. Sprint to the next hostel in some small street, very simple for 300 rupees (=4€), toilet just a hole in the ground, bed used before.
A considerable amount of mosquitos flew in through the defective net at the window’s place. Different to the European mosquitos, they come in total silence, they never rest on the walls when you desperately switch on the light and they don’t have any respect at all for German repellents. It was definitely becoming a hard night.
Lying on my trousers I was already dozing off, when someone knocked on the door – half naked I opened: police! They simply could not believe that a respectable westerner checked in into this kind of hostel. My ancient greeting phrase “aie, aie, tashrif laie” (“come in, come in, bring honor”) then swept them off their feet. Deeply embarrassed, they asked for proof of identity. I showed them my business card. Later, I went down to the reception to ask if everything’s alright: police still there, completely stunned, invitation for tea, friendly conversation about life in Kota and life in general, selfies in various combinations.