Never expect things to be simple in India. How silly of me to forget! 🙃
When I arrived from Sri Lanka, my checklist was... simple! - withdraw cash
- recharge my Indian SIM card
- hop on a train to Madurai 🚆
Well the ATM at the airport had a handwritten sign covering it saying "no cash" and the one at the metro station wouldn't give me money. I had a few rupees leftover and hoped that it was enough for the ride to the next station. Luckily, it appeared that this metro was in the midst of being built and all of the ticket machines and counters weren't set up yet, which resulted in a free ride At the next station, a gentleman was able to direct me to functional ATMs a short walk away and I could check off my first task
Conveniently there was also a small kiosk nearby where I could do the phone recharge. However, several attempts for different plans failed and customer service told the kiosk man who told the neighbouring English-speaking kiosk kid that I would need to visit the retail store to sort it out... no problem, the kid said he would take me on his scooter. I just had to meet him around the corner where his dad wouldn't see him picking me up
Fastforward several hours after visiting two phone stores, buying a new SIM card, waiting the two hours turned to three hours for activation aaaaaand nothing. It didn't work 🙄
Fortunately I had the number of the salesman and I was in a restaurant with the most helpful staff, who called to sort it out for me. No problem, there was another phone store close by and he wrote down the information for me. Just take a tuk tuk to Alsa Mall and meet Sadham Usain there... Riiiiight.. Haha.
Except there was no phone store in the mall and Sadham of course is Muslim, so he was unavailable because of Ramadan.
By this point I had already missed the first train to Madurai, which I had spent at least an hour waiting in line to buy a ticket for.. I was now running out of time until the next train 🕦
With the help again from random locals, I found the store, received another new SIM card and was told it would be working in two hours. Hmmm... 🤔 Thankfully, it did!
On to the train adventure... - 22 days ago