Persistence is the Key to Driving Around New Delhi

Getting a hotel car from The Oberoi would cost us 450 rupees an hour and we would have to book the car for a minimum of two hours. That's 900 rupees (or roughly a little over P1,000) for a measly two hours.

We decided to hail a taxi then (with the help of The Oberoi doorman) to bring us to church Sunday morning. We had meant for the taxi driver to just leave us at the church but such was not the case. The driver persistently offered his driving services for the whole day and even for our entire stay.

At first, he didn't want to quote any price (shades of the Filipino's "Bahala na po kayo" reply, when you ask him how much you owe him for services rendered). He was making statements to the effect that if we're happy with his service, then we pay him... My boss then had to make it clear that we wanted to know just how much he would be charging because we may not have enough money to pay the driver at the end of the day and the driver would then be unhappy.

100 rupees an hour, that's what he eventually charged. Quite reasonable considering that we had a driver at our beck and call, had someone to take our group photos, had some sort of tour guide. He helped us out with our shopping bags too. Well, we ended up calling him up two more times during our stay in New Delhi and things turned out fine.

So, if you happen to be in New Delhi, and wish to get in touch with a taxi, you can consider: Charanjeet Singh, Taxi No. DL1T-2580; Phone Numbers: 439-50-49 or 656-43-05. (Yes, I'm reading this off a calling card.) You can ask hotel personnel to help contact him. He seems to have ties with the doorman at The Oberoi but he says he can serve guests in other hotels as well.

(Coming Soon: Shopping - yipee!- at New Delhi)

[By Angelica Viloria | Wednesday, April 2, 2003]

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