FIFTEENTH MOVEMENT: INDIA
New Delhi, India
I woke up feeling a bit under the weather and stayed in bed longer than I should have; I eventually got up, showered, dressed, packed my bags, and checked out of the hostel; then I found a taxi on the edge of Thamel and took it to the airport. Along the way, traffic police that were “directing traffic” made sure we stopped at each intersection for a prolonged period of time; the worst of the flunky cops had us stationary for over twelve minutes before directing our lane of traffic to drive on – the only event that made this stop some what worthwhile was watching two monkeys make there way across the power lines next to the intersection. Eventually, we made it to the airport and I tipped the taxi driver on account of our painfully long drive (it took almost fifty minutes to drive from Thamel to the airport – I expected it to take about fifteen minutes). At this point I was very late and had to be that douchebag (in the parlance of our times) who makes his way to the front of each security line to ensure he makes his flight – I definitely needed to do this in Kathmandu because each line was very long and slow moving; first I went to the front of the security line to enter the airport; then I went to the Air India office to check in (I was the last passenger to check in and they had shut down the counter); next I passed through Immigration; then I jumped to the front of the security line to enter the terminal; I made it to the terminal just in time, but the flight was slightly delayed; so I waited ten minutes before passing through the gate and taking a bus to the aircraft; finally, at the aircraft, we passed through another security checkpoint right in front of the passenger boarding steps. It was a lengthy process and I didn’t give myself enough time (I would suggest arriving at Kathmandu’s airport three hours before your flight), but I made it on the plane, in to my Business Class seat, and was enjoying a complimentary cup of apple juice (if this was a European flight, it would’ve been wine or beer). The plane then took off and I had the in-flight vegetarian meal (some Indian dish with rice, vegetables, yogurt, and coffee).
After about ninety minutes of flying, the plane landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport. I exited the craft, boarded the bus, went to Immigration and was stamped in to the country (Immigration was practically empty), grabbed my bag off of the carousel (it was one of the first bags), walked right through customs and to the Airport Metro, bought my ticket for the metro and boarded the train after a short wait (the train was also practically empty for the entire journey – strange for the world’s second most populous country), and was soon getting off the train at the New Delhi Station. I then walked to the train station to inquire about purchasing tickets since I know it can be a painful process with many reservations needing to be made weeks in advance; a non-uniformed man told me that there is a special foreigners line (internet research corroborates this) and tickets can be bought seventy-two hours in advance for certain seats not available any earlier; I was too tired to look any further in to the matter and decided to just find my hotel. I crossed over the train tracks on one of the walkways and then soon found the street my hotel is on; shortly after, I made it to the hotel, checked in, and was given a room with a circular bed and stained sheets; I requested another room with a rectangular bed that didn’t look like a cheap bordello; I was then given a room with slightly cleaner bed sheets and one that was overall acceptable, but it was disgusting (the bathroom mirror looks as though it had never been cleaned; honestly, how hard is it to wipe a mirror – this demonstrates the amount of effort the hotel management puts in to maintaining their establishment . . . I predict they won’t last too long in the business). I then relaxed in my room most of the rest of the day (from 15:00 to when I fell asleep); I did arrange for a sight-seeing tour tomorrow for New Delhi and I watched some television; I was too tired and feeling “out of it” to go out for dinner; so I survived off of stored-up body fat and retained water. I then fell asleep.