I am so fucking cold!!!!!! I am only in Delhi for one day, two nights, before I head south where it is warm. I only have on pair of pants (my oldest lululemon yoga pants) and one sweatshirt with me that I brought mostly for the plane ride here. There are two warm blankets in my room, but I have yet to have one moment of warmth. I tried sleeping in my stomach and several wrapping methods, to no avail.
My flight here is quite quick and easy. The flight from Santa Ana arrived early to O’Hare, but then we had to wait on the tarmac to get a gate. I was fine with this as it gave my phone and Internet time. Then, I began to realize that my layover period was disappearing. My flight to Delhi was to begin boarding at 6:30pm and it was now 6:25pm. What if I miss this flight! Oh no! I would have to wait a full 24 hours for the next, quite possibly! At least, I was in Chicago, a former home of mine. I could call Julia and stay with her, or maybe they will offer my a room by the airport. Ooooooh, I totally will have to eat at Reza’a tonight! So I began to get excited, and hope that I would indeed miss the flight to India. Within 5 minutes, though we had pulled up to a gate. I found my next gate and my flight had yet to begin boarding, no Reza’s for me!
The flight to India was easy. I did realize that the seats seem to have less room then the plane I was just on, but it was not terribly cramped. I did get a little jealous of the 5 person rows next to me that where not full, so gave them spare seats. I had picked an aisle of a two-person row thinking it would be less cramped. The movie selection was not the best ever, but I was still excited for my movie fest to begin! I started with a few episodes of “How I met Your Mother”. One, because I enjoy the show, and two to confirm that the lead actor was indeed at our NYE party a few days earlier. Katie B. tried to convince me otherwise, but it was he, so I got in a last minute BBM to her that I was right, before the plane took off.
The plane took off, without me realizing it and soon I was dining on a delicious Indian Vegetarian meal. I was soon cozy in my seat, watching movies. I fell asleep late into the flight and once I woke up tried to stay up so that I would be able to sleep when I arrived at 11pm in India. My fogginess pulled my back in, but I was able to wake up for another delicious meal, for breakfast (PS always order Asian Vegetarian if you can, best plane food ever). When we arrived in India it was old hat to me. Head to customs, exchange money, pick up luggage. As I exited, I saw a booth for pre-paid taxis, and decided this would be the best option. I surely did not feel like haggling for a ride, especially since I had no idea what a good cost was in the first place. I got my receipt and headed out Exit 2 for a cab.
When I exited the airport doors, I entered a new world. Holy shit where the fuck am I? There was a dirty fog and people everywhere. Inside the airport, I could have been in any city, but now outside I was struck with laughter that I was really here, and boy was it different. I got to a taxi and we headed on our way. Immediately, I let go of what safe driving was to me. It was pure comedy. I never felt afraid, because I knew that this is how they did it here, and it really looked like some close calls. I did, which shocked myself, have fears of where is he taking me? There were some weird turn-offs to roads with no cars and fears came up. I never really think about my safety or think about getting mobbed or raped, but those thoughts lingered in…for a moment and then a let them drift away.
In my room, I arrange my belongings, and get out my stones. I take out the Lonely Planet that Jason has passed along to me to research Delhi. I figured I would just roam about the next day, but realized that there may be attractions to see. As, I paged through the book, I got present to the fact I was just happy to have my own little space and my own time, my own schedule or non-schedule. I didn’t really want to find anything in Delhi. Maybe I will ask the hotel owners if there is anything I must see or where to eat (oh wait, they will probably only recommend their own restaurant), but I was mainly just excited to read and write and be.
It is 9:44am, now and I had turned the lights on at 7am. I have been reading until now, and trying to stay warm. I had a Sunrider threesome and a bar that the Natters gave me. I have no idea what to wear today. Like I said, I really don’t have anything warm. I have my relaxed jeans, but they are so ripped. I have my blue dress, but I don’t want it to be all dusty. I have my long cotton skirt, that is thin, but I can wear my yoga tights underneath. I am sure I will end up in the ripped jeans and my sole sweatshirt, with my old Tom’s shoes.
When I do finally make it out of my room, I inquire at the front about what to do. He tells me I can take an 8-hour tour for 750 rupiahs, a taxi will come and get me and take just me around to see temples and such. This sounds like a great idea, but I really want to at least start the day with a wander. I head out of the hotel and into the Main Bazaar and to my surprise I feel at home, I feel safe, I feel at peace. People, pedi-cabs, rickshaws, cars, motorbikes, and oxes all share the roads lined with merchants. Yes, they are trying to sell me things and offering me rides, but none of it is threatening. I remember that I have a new camera and pull it out to take some shots. I barely even look at the images just start snapping away from my chest. As I wander along, people young and old get excited by my camera and ask for their photo, I swear an ox even walked closer to me and posed as I was snapping a picture of him. I love this. I love the smiles. I love the warmth (of the people).
These guys are warming their hands on the tandori fire. Fine idea! They let me share in the warmth.