Delhi - the scam capital of India and of the world
We arrived in Delhi. The flight with Aeroflot was smooth and comfortable, with nothing remarkable about it except that we passed three (!) security controls with a Swiss knife. Delhi was overwhelming: rickshaws, cows, cars, people... all coexisting in the same spaces that it's a wonder to watch. The city is so polluted you can almost feel the exhaust fumes settling in your lungs. But through all this pollution you can still discern the incredible symphony of smells the city is filled with.
Finding the International Tourist Bureau (ITB) that assists foreigners in reserving railway tickets proved to be an incredible challenge, given the simplicity of the task. An invisible network of agents spans the whole of Delhi and consists of "tuk-tuk" drivers, "students who want to practice their English with you" and private tourist agencies, which claimed to be governmental tourist bureaus. The "students" fish out the unsuspecting tourists, gracefully pass them over to tuk-tuk drivers who convincingly drop you - fresh and ready to serve - at one of the agencies. There, an agent will try to sell you an overpriced trip arrangement over a delicious cup of Indian tea. An example of such a trip would be the one they were pushing on us: a bus to Kashmir, a few nights on a house boat, air-conditioned car tour over Rajhastan and the railway tickets for the rest of our trip in India. The pricing policy in these agencies is whatever the customer is ready to pay plus a bit more.
The biggest scam would await at the New Delhi Railway Station, where you are just a few meters away from the ITB you have been looking for. An innocent student would tell you that it's been moved (in our case - due to the coming Commonwealth Games) and send you to yet another agency. Luckily we made it through all these scams without almost any loss.
We are now out of Delhi's hassle and out of reach of all these numerous agents.