Friday, Nov 21st
My plan seems to be working pretty well, so far. I closed my eyes as soon as I got on the plane, only playing with the built-in personal computer screen for a few minutes, first! I think I just sat there for the first 20 minutes or so, but then I began to drift in and out of sleep. I remember waking up 3 times to see the flight attendants passing out some sorts of drinks and meals, but I never took any.
I woke up the last time at dawn and was awake for the final hour. I watched the computer-generated map of our journey which was much more interesting than the last time I saw that feature on a flight. The point-of-view of the ‘camera’ was constantly changing, first circling around the plane to show the town we were passing on all sides, then rising up and looking down and changing altitude from out in space with the Earth a small dot, to right on top of the plane.
An hour later I was in the Munich airport and my plan to find the Brauhaus evaporated. I just didn’t feel like trudging around the airport and I intended to stay awake for the final leg of the journey. Visiting the Brauhaus would have made that more difficult.
The trip from Munich to Delhi seemed a lot longer, since I was awake most of the time. But I did some more work on my Action Plan and watched a few movies.
My first impression of India arrived as soon as we touched down. I distinctly smelled smoke and that’s not something you smell in an airplane (any more). I wondered if someone had lit some incense to celebrate returning home safely. I didn’t know, but the smell remained.
When I walked off the plane and into the terminal I realized the smell of smoke wasn’t confined to the plane – it was everywhere.
Passport control was effortless, and Customs was even easier: there was a sign but no one stopped us to ask for the little cards we had to fill out on the plane.
I walked outside and immediately saw a driver with my name written on a placard.
I had to wait for 10 minutes while he fetched the taxi and I tried to climb into 2 other taxis before he finally showed up. Hey! I had memorized the pattern of his sweater for identification. How could *I* know that 10% of all the taxi drivers in Delhi wore the exact same sweater?!
The drive was boring. I was most impressed by the smog. Nothing at all like the wild ride Kent & I took in Cairo our first tie there. THAT was a true third-world crazy thrill show, complete with horses, carts, donkey’s and I SWEAR at least one elephant. This was just a bunch of guys (and really, not that many cars were on the road at 1:00am) honking at each other and totally ignoring the lines painted on the road. I never felt like we were in any danger of bumping into another car. A tax ride in New York City is far more strfessful.
He drove me to the Sita International Hotel – which DID exist, and DID expect me, and DID give me a perfectly comfortable room with a large bed, private bath, TV, Ceiling Fan, Air Conditioning, soap, fluffy towels,,,everything but a window. That was OK with me. The street here is noisy, so my room was quitter without one.
Day 2 was great!