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rglongpre’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 13 Jan 2008

Location: New Delhi, India

MapThe flight leaving China was delayed making our arrival in India later than we expected. We were picked up at the airport, the Indira Gandhi International airport, by a young man representing our tour company. Though we were tired, the noise and the swarms of people and the colours more than woke us up. I must admit, I didn't even take many photos of these first moments, but they are indelibly imprinted on my brain. Once out of the airport we got into our car for the ride to our hotel which was quite a distance from the airport and well into the outer rings of the city.

The ride to the hotel was a nail-biting experience. The roads were either two or three lanes that managed somehow to hold about four or five lanes of vehicles including buses, black and yellow taxis, mini-taxis that were a three-wheeled and green and yellow. As we changed lanes without signalling like everyone else, I noticed that almost every car we saw was scraped and dented. Fender-benders are a common occurrance. As we stopped for red lights and animals and other obstacles that came out of nowhere, we had beggars come to the car windows with hands held out. Finally, we pulled into what I originally thought was a rubble-filled ghetto area only to find our hotel tucked into an unlikely corner. The parking lot was a field of broken stone. We were sure that we were in the wrong place.

We entered the hotel and found it to be not too bad at all. It was party night at the hotel and the music was loud. There were three parties going on, events called Houris. Since it was already 10 PM, we decided there was no need for another supper (we had supper on the plane) so we made arrangements for our morning pickup for a day's tour of Delhi before heading to our room for our first night in New Delhi. The music didn't let up until well after midnight. Finally, exhausted from the flight, the adrenalin rush of evening traffic in Delhi and the loud music, we slept.