Getting train tickets have been a hassle the last couple of weeks, since a lot of the trains we had wanted to take, have been fully booked due to several festivals and the wedding season here in the North. This has resulted in us taking different trains than we had initially planned, and often paid more to do so. When we got to Agra, we decided to book trains for the rest of the trip to avoid any more trouble. Unfortunately for us all travel agents told us that the trains we wanted to take were full, with several people in waiting list. When we were close to giving up, we found a travel agent who asked us to wait a few hours to see what he could do.
When we came to pick up the tickets, the travel agent explained to us that he had bribed everything from conductors to ticket offices to get the tickets we had asked for, and that we therefore had to pay five times the initial price. He also revealed the fact that this is how it usually works here in India: If you have the money, corruption can work in your favor. Since the amount was only 1500 rupees/170NOK for the low class tickets he could get us, it did not bother us that it was well overpriced and that we had “cheated” our way to our tickets. Now we know why corruption is so big here, as it seems to work so well for people who have the money.