We wake up wee hour in the morning and take a pre-paid auto rickshaw to Old Delhi Station (RS 85). The street is dark, with people still sleeping along the street and factory worker start loading goods into their transport. The driver try to get RS 20 extra from us for luggage fee, but we just ignore him since this is a prepaid taxi anyway.
It's not about the amount of money, just that I don't like to being rip off and paid extra for anything just because others assume I am rich because I can afford to travel. I like the way a reasonable old Indian man (which I shall meet in Jodhpur later) phrase it:<blockquote>
It's not fair for you to pay more just because you have more money, because you work very hard as well.</blockquote>
The most troubling thing for traveller in New Delhi is touts and rickshaw drivers, we kept pestering us to bring us somewhere or charge us extra (sometimes 5x the original price). There is no space and no privacy, and very annoying. Eventually we either avoid walking on the street, or somehow grown "immune" to them by rudely ignoring them.
The train system is fairly systematic, and easy to use. We just check our train number on the board to confirm the time of arrival and which platform to go to. The train arrive on time, but the departure is delayed for 30 minutes. I think we are still lucky, since it's normal for train to be delayed for 2 hours or more.
The train experience on the Second class is quite fun and enjoyable. The coach is not too packed, and everyone have their individual seat number. Usually there are 3 seats on one bench, and it could be converted into 3 layers of bed as well (the bench is the lowest bed, the back cushion could be pulled up to be the middle bed, and there is already a top bed). The seats are clean and strong. A local family of four sit with us (6 people in a unit with 2 benches facing each other), and they are very nice and friendly. Their eldest daughter has a sharp pretty face (model material), followed by their active little daughter and pampered youngest son. The brought along a lot of snacks and hot food for the journey, and they are going to Jaipur for a family vacation.
The scenery along the way is fairly interesting, with flat lands and plantation fields, and some occasional small hills. For the journey of 300 km, the scenery is vastly the same along the way. I really like the train experience, as it is comfortable with slight jerkiness, strong wind blowing through the open window, and the sudden loud noise when another train pass by.
We arrived in Jaipur at 10.30 am, took an auto rickshaw (prepaid) for RS 300 to Bani Park, our luxury hotel at Shahpura House. This is the first classy hotel we stay in India, be able to enjoy some comfort and luxury at last for RS 3000 per night (including tax and breakfast). This is a boutique but fancy hotel with Mughal design and architecture all over it. With multiple living and sitting room, weapon decoration and wall painting, plus a swimming pool. It is very nice, and very quiet as well.
After enjoying air-condition and warm bath in our hotel, we proceed to Copper Chimney at MI Road for lunch. It's quite a fancy restaurant, costing RS 800 for two. We had some North Indian cuisine for the first time in India, ordering some lamb and hot vegetable, and Naan bread and some other breads. The lamb sure is hot and spicy, but nice. The hot vegetable is a different kind of curry, and we have a very satisfying North Indian meal.
Mei Ru suggested we go to Raj Mandir cinema, the best 5 star cinema in India, but the action move "Da-Bang" on show is not quite our cup of tea. Touts continue to pester us along the way. At the end, we went to the RDTC office to book a day tour for RS 250 each, then bought our SIM card, then finally found a laundry shop (after much searching and walking) with a strong and muscular man manning the shop. We felt so hungry and dusty, thus we head back to our luxurious hotel.
We watch some Indian paid-tv and was surprised that they do have a lot of Indian channels. We had dinner at the hotel's rooftop restaurant, having chicken and some cheese butter gravy with Naan. The food is okay, not great. Only about 4 tables are occupied, and we are entertained by some dancing and puppet show. It's a spinning dance with one or more pots on the head. At first we have no idea why the performers are standing there after their performance, but later we realize it's about the tipping after a get a more obvious cue from the puppet master.;