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Delhi (for the third – and final? – time)

India, Day 45 – Mumbai Rajdhani Express, Delhi

I shared the train from Mumbai with a British couple and a young North American guy. We didn’t talk much, to be honest – well, the couple talked to each other – and we all had books to read.

Rajdhani trains – I don’t know if they’re operated by the same people as the majority of India’s trains – are a cut above the other trains I’ve been on. The carriages are decked out in much the same way as usual, but the blue seats are a slightly lighter shade of light blue and everything seems newer and cleaner. The service is a lot better, too; although you don’t get the continual ‘chaiwallers’ and so on, you get snacks and pots of tea in addition to your meals. Also – best of all – they’re included in the ticket price – the only additional money you fork out is a tip at the end of the journey.

Unusually, I felt fine throughout the trip – I didn’t get a headache or feel sick. We arrived at New Delhi Station more than an hour late at 10:15, and straightaway I made my way to the hotel I’d stayed in last time – Lord’s Hotel. Strangely, I was greeted like an old friend – guess they’re happy I came back.

It’s a good job I had a closer look at my flight information – my plane leaves, not at 13:40 as I’d thought, but at 11:20 tomorrow – 13:40 is the arrival time in Dubai. It also looks like the only way to get there is by taxi. Lonely Planet mentions an ‘ex-serviceman’s’ bus service, but the location mentioned in central Delhi is only a drop-off point, so I don’t really know where to find out more information. A taxi, according to LP, should cost 225 rupees … so that means it really costs about 300. Maybe.

When I got into the hotel I started feeling a bit headachey – possibly a delayed reaction from the train, maybe due to the horrible air in the capital (although it’s breezy today, and so not too bad). I took a pill and headed outside. My headache got worse. Having found no sign of anything significant at the aformentioned bus stop, I went to Costa for a big cup of coffee. My headache was really paining me.

By the time my coffee arrived at my table I was starting to feel sick. I quickly shut my laptop down, left my caffe latte almost untouched and hurried up to the toilet – where I regurgitated a small amount of vomit. (Regurgitating vomit? Does that imply I’ve been eating vomit?) A short time later I went back down feeling only slightly better and finished my coffee.

Then it was back to the hotel for a nap. Which is where I am now – although the napping has now finished.

In other news, I’ve been watching CNN and saw that Heath Ledger has died. I spent a moment muttering, ‘What?’ at the TV, as if I thought it might be joking. He was a very decent actor and I was quite looking forward to seeing how he’d do in the forthcoming Batman movie. The speculation seems to be that he overdosed on drugs – if so it’s another example of the complete stupidity of trying to escape problems by resorting to chemicals. As long as people have problems – and access to drugs – it’s always going to happen, though.

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