The next port of call was the city of Lucknow. Here I am with some friendly school kids who asked for a picture. Very polite bunch of lads, their shirts were whiter than mine but then again their Mums washed theirs. The stop off here didn’t do exactly as planned (planning in India is more of a concept), but one great thing I managed to sort out was the magic box of tricks and saviour that is the Tata Dacomo
So my time in Lucknow was not the best of times due to the fact that I unfortunately got really sick and spent the three days there as a giddy, feverish blob. The city of Lucknow does lie quite far from the Ganges River so this wasn’t a great loss in terms of the project. Infact the iPhone picture above is the only photograph that was taken during my time there.
Now onto the good news. As I’ve mentioned (well, moaned about) before the internet speeds here in India can be painfully slow making Blog/Instagram/Facebook/Twitter updates a headache. Even if you do manage to find a hotel or cafe that does have wi fi don’t expect the speeds to be great and the connection will be patchy at best.
While I was in Rishikesh I got chatting to some fellow guests who has managed to get hold of a wi fi dongle that is available from the Indian company Tata who make everything from trucks to furniture. Obviously being a forward thinking company they’d decided to enter the communications market and in the shape of the Dacomo had provided the long awaited answer to people tearing their hair out at slow and unreliable internet while in India.
The couple had bought the item in Delhi and were able to run up to five devices from it. With the mains adapter you could simply plug it into any socket and enjoy wi fi where ever (very handy for checking where your delayed train is while at the station). When they told me that the connection was so solid that they were even able to download films using it I almost spat my chai out, this was something I definitely needed on the trip.
After Rishikesh I enquired about it in Haridwar and was told Lucknow would be the place to find it. Once in Lucknow I located their showroom and set out for what was a two day mission to get hold of the damn thing. India is a place that requires LOTS of official paperwork to get anything done, as an example each time I check into a guest house I have to provide my: passport copy/ visa copy/ home address/ destination from/ destination going to/ age/ fathers name….
Getting hold of this thing was the most impossibly complicated process that required three trips to their showroom, about an hour of phone calls and a dozen emails, in fact I think it was all this that finally tipped my immune system into melt down and brought me to the realm of the (very) unwell.
In the end I couldn’t get hold of the wi fi version, this would have required signing a contract and then waiting three days for a letter to be sent which I would have to sign for otherwise the contract would be terminated (I told you it was complicated).
But I now have this little device with 10GB of data on it and internet anytime I need it, I can top it up online and I even get a daily text telling me home much data I’ve got left. All this for only €20. Needless to say this has made the update process a lot easier, the only downer is that I can’t get to my Instagram account from my laptop but I’ll settle for that.
Tata, hats off to you – just make the process of getting it a bit less complicated please.