Luckily my backup alarm came to the rescue and saved me from disaster of missing my flight. So there I was leaving Bangkok by the free shuttle minibus before the sun had even risen. When checking in for my flight, I was made aware by those at Sri Lankan airlines that I had made two bookings for myself. I don’t know how this was possible but the likelihood of the sparse internet connection I was working with upon booking probably caused such an inconvenience. I can put in a request for a refund but who knows how that will turn out and in my luck I don’t plan on holding my breath over the matter. Sure enough to begin a bright sunshiny day the flight got delayed two plus hours before we could board the flight to Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka I got to experience another delay that pushed my eventual arrival into New Delhi far later that I had planned. Instead of getting into India just before six, I now arrived well past dark but not well past the heat as it still stood at 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) at nearly ten o’clock at night when I got past immigration. From the airport, I took many metro connections to reach my booked hostel. Not until much later towards the end of my lengthy time on the metro did I realize there were nearly no women around. The metro had nearly as many white foreigners as there were women and I struggled to find many more besides myself on some further connections. Even though Delhi is the most populated city in the country in the second most populated country in the world with its fair share of foreign visitors, they still found a way to find me interesting enough to stare at and not in that stare and glance away quickly when found out kind of stare but the sort of stare when they clearly don’t realize it is rude for their eyes to linger that long. I also quickly got up to speed with the concept of Indian queues and lines which is to say there are none despite the loudspeakers trying to bring order to the situation and dotted lines marked in an effort to bring some sense of sanity to boarding and exiting passengers. People were literally shoving in two converging mass pileups to get on and off the metro train. Also, people were sliding their arms and money at the teller to get their metro token even though I was literally standing as close to the glass as person could be. This was all to be expected. Not that I know exactly what to expect from India but I know well enough to expect everything and anything is possible. Be prepared for it all or get ready to be stampeded over without a moment’s notice. I got off my last metro stop with detailed directions to the hostel door but at night with the chaos of India I was still confused and needed to ask for directions but had to do so from the correct people who had no incentive to trick and cheat me. I passed many homeless people lining the full length of the sidewalks trying to catch some zzz’s as well as the many tuk-tuk drivers hanging out and dogs digging through the many piles of thickly laid out trash (smelling like death and all other unbeknownst additives) all in the effort of looking for that brightly displayed sign showing ‘Joey’s Hostel’. I rolled up the conveyor door and walked the staircase to the second floor and luckily gained entrance. At long last I had arrived but no employee that I was aware of stood in sight or by mention from the other backpackers so I simply checked myself into an available bed. I talked to a fellow backpacker from Egypt and generally liked the atmosphere of the hostel with its open lounge area but then again anything of some substance had the ability to put a smile onto my slowing drying sweaty face. The satisfaction of reaching your awaited destination after a tireless day that seemed to hold no end can not be captured but rather experienced in person. Here I was finally in India ready to begin the next leg of my journey.
Expecting the Unexpected in India Day 214: Flying to Delhi