A Travellerspoint blog

Arriving in India

30 °C

Well, that was enough to make me want to forget how I got here. Once I was able to stop crying at the airport, sad to leave such wonderful people (I truly do have the greatest friends in the world), I made it to Hong Kong with little issues. Only complaint: longest flight everrrrr. A solid 14 hours or so. When I walked onto the airplane in San Francisco, I was seated right next to the only woman on the plane with an infant. Great. I may need to slide into my drug-induced coma sooner than expected. Turns out the mother was from Sri Lanka but was living in SF with her husband who was studying for his master’s in Physics of all things, and the kid was great. The mother tried to explain that this girl was the only good traveler out of her 15 children. And she was! She hardly cried at all, I think I cried more than her. I mean, seriously that flight was really long.

Once I arrived in Hong Kong I bought the only food I could pronounce and there I sat eating my chocolate muffin and talking to my friends on Gchat. It was like I never left. Oh yeah, except I was by myself on the other side of the planet. We left within a couple hours and I was on my way to Bangkok. I had an 8 hour layover there and had learned beforehand that I could purchase a “Visa on Arrival” to spend some time in Thailand. How amazing! Well, not quite. The visa was going to cost an outrageous amount plus there would be an “exit fee” upon returning to the airport, and oh yeah, I had ZERO idea of where to go or what to do. Take the Metro, right? Yeah, but to where? I kept asking the poor clerk at the currency exchange window all these questions and his poor broken English managed to inform me it would could about $400 to spend the next few hours in this city, which was in political unrest, and had been victim to an attack only hours before. On top of that, it was midnight back home and I didn’t quite feel up for carrying my 50lb backpack all over an unsafe and unfamiliar city where I couldn’t understand the language.

So, as an exciting alternative, I napped. Like, all day. I fell asleep at a charging station before I even plugged my computer into the wall. So by the time I woke up, my computer was still dead and it was time to find my gate to actually get to Delhi. Oh yeah, Delhi. I had completely lost track of my intention here. What day was it? Saturday-ish? Sheesh I hope I’m getting my jet lag out of the way now. I was groggy getting onto the plane in Bangkok and heard the Captain announce in a delicious South African accent that he was expecting a smooth flight all the way. Great. More nap time. Although no matter how hard I try or how many Xanax I pop, I can never fall asleep before takeoff. It’s just too darn nerve-racking in good and bad ways. And then there it was, the roar of the engines, everyone grasping their arm rests and being forced against the back of their seats as the plane begins its violent acceleration. As I was nervously attempting to stare out the window, the plane begins to steadily slow down. Hmm I don’t remember this being part of the routine and there had been no weird noises or bumps. We come to a dead stop and everyone looks around with comments bouncing between “why aren’t we leaving?” and “are we there yet?”

A few moments later the Captain comes on again and says, “Ladies and gentlemen, if you are you wondering what happened…” with a pause assuming we are all replying something along the lines of, “Um, yeah, what the f?”
“… you see, when they built this airport, they built it over a large swampy marsh land.”

Okay… and?

“Well, it seems to have gotten the best of us. You see, we are stuck in the marsh.” A vehicle should be along shortly to tow us out.”
Uhhh, I’m sorry, what?! Our AIRPLANE is stuck in a SWAMP?! Can’t you just put it into reverse and take a mulligan without letting us know that your drunk ass can’t steer the damn aircraft? Ugh. Fuck it. Where is my Xanax?!

Once we were finally airborne, the only thing that could put a smile on my face was the chubby Indian man sitting next to me who had chosen (out of 50 movie options, mind you) to watch Sex and the City 2 and was giggling really loud every time Samantha said anything. Like, really loud. Everyone within viewing distance was looking as us, as if to say, “shut up, nothing is that funny.” To which I had to reassure myself that watching an Indian man laugh at Sex in the City was really that funny. It really was.

So that got me through to Delhi where magically my bag was the first one on the conveyor belt and my pre-arranged taxi driver was waiting for me at customs! Okay, that never happens! He even greeted me with a beautiful orange lei, which would have made me feel right at home… if I had come from Hawai’i.

So, nevermind the driving in this damn place. Can you call it driving? Whatever it is, I find it rather offensive in every sense of the word. Nevermind the concept of lanes, signals, or predictability. None of that exists here. I think all these cars come equipped with are horns and accelerators. You drive where there is an opening. That is the only rule. And everyone, absolutely everyone on the road is really horn-y. (you know what I mean) So after half an hour of cutting off TATAs and wiping out pedestrians and mopeds (you would think the government pays taxi driver to kill them, I swear) we finally arrived at Wood Castle. What a relief this place was! Before I could even sign in, the staff handed be a 40 of light beer—don’t mind if I do—and was shoving some curry drenched French fries down my throat. Yum! The only thing was, I am the only one here by myself. Apparently NO ONE travels alone to India. Yeah, what a stupid decision that would be. I think that lei maybe had to with the fact that they thought I was widowed! Pity flowers? Really? I told them, “I’m not widowed, I’m just ambitious,” getting a little defensive, to which they felt it necessary to reply, “Ahh, yees, vetty vetty white.” Hrrm, not quite what I meant but, thanks, I get it. I haven’t seen the sun since July in 2009. In any fashion, I’m going to bed. Namaste.

Posted by WorldbyRen 05:41 Archived in India

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