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Old 02-10-2014, 12:46 AM   #1
bananaman OP
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Madison, Wisconsin and/or Panama, Panama
Oddometer: 6,311
Attempted Kidnapping in Delhi

I just returned to the US after a brief explore of India. I'd never been to Asia and I'm hoping to next year do a big ride. So this was just a little intro-to-India trip.

On Monday I was booked on the 6 AM Delhi-Agra train. I left the hotel at 5 by taxi and arrived at the train station at 5:30. On the way the taxi driver warned me that the train station could be very dangerous and he actually looked very nervous, which I took as a bad sign, because I had already learned to not trust taxi drivers in India; not that all India taxi drivers are crooks, but I thought to myself, If this man is a Crook, and he's Nervous, then this might actually be Dangerous. But in my mind, I was thinking that Dangerous meant that somebody might try to lift my wallet or my backpack if I wasn't looking.

As I approached the security checkpoint and machines a man in a black coat, who I took to be part of the security, told me that for the Delhi-Agra train, I needed to go through the other security. At the other security, another man in a black coat, who I thought was part of security, told me that my train was cancelled, but that I could catch a 7:30 train from a different train station.

Always there are men trying to get you to take cars and taxis, and I was not surprised that this black-coated man wanted me to take his friend's car. I agreed to go to the other train station, but by cab, not car. The security man "helped" me by telling the taxi driver where to go. In Hindi, of course, which I do not speak.

Leaving the train station in the taxi I had chosen, with a driver that did not speak English, I suddenly got a very bad feeling. I asked the taxi driver to confirm which train station he was taking me to, and he said, "No train station," and then something else, something describing a different place. The taxi was moving and I actually opened the door and got ready to jump out. The taxi driver said not to worry, and he took me back to the train station. I picked a random porter out of the group that was there, and he very quickly helped me find my train. We ran right through security, which was actually a big joke: the x-ray machine was on, and the conveyor belt was moving, but nobody was actually monitoring anything. We ran along the platform and very easily found the car that had a printout of the passengers, and right in the middle was my name.

THE SCAM:

Men working with "security" are running a scam/kidnapping plan. It is very difficult to know who is legitimate security, and who is not, and I'm not sure if there's much difference. The taxi was taking me to a location other than a train station. In the best case, they would have convinced me to take a private car to Agra, for around US$250. In the worst case, they would have robbed me of all my money, and maybe even taken me to an ATM and forced me to withdraw as much as I could.

THE POLICE

The police are useless. There were none anywhere near the train station. It would have been useless to file any kind of complaint.

I'm embarrassed that this almost happened to me. I've been to about 35 other countries and I usually have much better sense.
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:03 PM   #2
Comrade Art
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Your gut instinct is usually right.
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:37 AM   #3
Doogle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman View Post
I just returned to the US after a brief explore of India. I'd never been to Asia and I'm hoping to next year do a big ride. So this was just a little intro-to-India trip.

On Monday I was booked on the 6 AM Delhi-Agra train. I left the hotel at 5 by taxi and arrived at the train station at 5:30. On the way the taxi driver warned me that the train station could be very dangerous and he actually looked very nervous, which I took as a bad sign, because I had already learned to not trust taxi drivers in India; not that all India taxi drivers are crooks, but I thought to myself, If this man is a Crook, and he's Nervous, then this might actually be Dangerous. But in my mind, I was thinking that Dangerous meant that somebody might try to lift my wallet or my backpack if I wasn't looking.

As I approached the security checkpoint and machines a man in a black coat, who I took to be part of the security, told me that for the Delhi-Agra train, I needed to go through the other security. At the other security, another man in a black coat, who I thought was part of security, told me that my train was cancelled, but that I could catch a 7:30 train from a different train station.

Always there are men trying to get you to take cars and taxis, and I was not surprised that this black-coated man wanted me to take his friend's car. I agreed to go to the other train station, but by cab, not car. The security man "helped" me by telling the taxi driver where to go. In Hindi, of course, which I do not speak.

Leaving the train station in the taxi I had chosen, with a driver that did not speak English, I suddenly got a very bad feeling. I asked the taxi driver to confirm which train station he was taking me to, and he said, "No train station," and then something else, something describing a different place. The taxi was moving and I actually opened the door and got ready to jump out. The taxi driver said not to worry, and he took me back to the train station. I picked a random porter out of the group that was there, and he very quickly helped me find my train. We ran right through security, which was actually a big joke: the x-ray machine was on, and the conveyor belt was moving, but nobody was actually monitoring anything. We ran along the platform and very easily found the car that had a printout of the passengers, and right in the middle was my name.

THE SCAM:

Men working with "security" are running a scam/kidnapping plan. It is very difficult to know who is legitimate security, and who is not, and I'm not sure if there's much difference. The taxi was taking me to a location other than a train station. In the best case, they would have convinced me to take a private car to Agra, for around US$250. In the worst case, they would have robbed me of all my money, and maybe even taken me to an ATM and forced me to withdraw as much as I could.

THE POLICE

The police are useless. There were none anywhere near the train station. It would have been useless to file any kind of complaint.

I'm embarrassed that this almost happened to me. I've been to about 35 other countries and I usually have much better sense.
Bananaman joins "AAA"
An Asian Adventure.
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