Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 1 -- Arriving in Delhi

Our flight landed on time, and Jon and I rushed through the customs/immigration process. We had carried on all our luggage, so it didn't take long before we found ourselves in the arrivals hall. There were many people waiting with signs, and we easily found the one waiting for us.

We waited off to the side until the other people going to our hotel made their way through. As I took in the scene at the airport, I was thinking Delhi wasn't too crazy: it was the standard amount of chaos you'd expect at a large airport.

Then, we went outside.

Despite the late hour, there was quite a bit of activity going on at the airport. Cab drivers and autorickshaws were looking for passengers while those already filled zipped by to their destinations. We followed our hosts out to the gravel parking lot and into some very tiny cars. We were off to our hotel!

I guess now would be a good time to mention driving in India. It's not for the faint of heart! The first rule seems to be that lane markings are not particularly important: as long as you're on pavement or the immediate shoulder, it's ok. Also, there's a lot of honking involved. Mostly, it's used when passing people, but it's also blown intermittently for some purpose I don't understand. Cars seem to have the right of way, but rickshaws, bicycles, pedestrians, goats, etc make their way through weaving between 4-wheeled vehicles. It's a system that I'd never be able to master (and would never try!), but since we saw no accidents during our entire 2 week stay, it's clear that the system works!

Our driver took us safely to our hotel just north of central Delhi where we checked in. It was interesting to see livestock (goats, cows, donkeys) wandering around inside the city limits, and that was certainly not something I had expected to experience.

The hotel was comfortable but not particularly lavish. At that point, we were just happy to see a nice bed to sleep in as opposed to an airplane seat!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Driving in Italy sounds similar to India. Ha, they both start with an "I". Maybe that's the reason!!