May 31, 2009 - How cool is this? As soon as we boarded the plane to head for India we met an Indian guy named Asheesh who knew my name and my face from my blog and also recognized Uday's face and voice. I was very excited that a stranger from another country saw my blog and was using it to do research for his potential trip planning. Asheesh was both very nice an made me feel special...
We were served Indian food on the plane which I never experienced before with all of our travels. Uday watched 4 movies before his eyes could not take it anymore while I only watched two. I thought Continental airlines is pretty good. Landing on one wheel at a time beginning with the left one, I was thankful that the right one finally touched down and we were safe in New Delhi, India. After a long wait for our driver who went to the domestic airport instead of the international airport, and a phone call to Mom, we were off to our hotel in Delhi for the night. We reached the airport around 8pm India time and our motel around 10pm.
Unorganized traffic, small old cars, not much different than what I was prepared for...
Our first hotel in was in New Delhi and called Vivek Hotel . Uday told me that this area was considered a "Back-packer's paradise". I was not sure what that meant at first. All I knew was that Uday was trying to travel in India as cheaply as possible.
Surrounded by filth, abadoned cows and dogs in the street, homeless people, poverty, and on my part confusion... Do I watch our luggage by the car? Can I trust our driver that he will not just take off with our luggage? Do I go in with Uday who is checking into the hotel? Hmmm... I decided to go inside and leave our luggage with the driver. The hotel lobby looked much dirtier than the picture on the internet.
In India we make sure to see the rooms before paying and accepting to stay there. They showed us three rooms of different price ranges and Uday let me pick knowing I was not comfortable with the hotel. The first looked too dirty and was the cheapest. The second one had a pretty chandelier with dirty sheets and this was the most expensive room and the third had the cleanest sheets of all of the rooms even though they were not perfect and it's price was between the cheepest and most expensive, so I chose the middle priced room. I was not thrilled about staying here but we were tired and it looked like all the hotels in this area may be the same. I started to understand what Uday meant about "bacpacker's paradise".... cheap!
I felt so dirty and the shower did not work so I squatted by the faucets to take a cool shower as there was no hot water... as I expected!
Difficult to sleep thinking of the filth. Uday and I tried to take a little walk at night but we were warned to be careful of all of the stray dogs that might attack at night. We walked a little ways and saw twirling dust a lot of stray dogs and felt uncomfortable with the many shady people who crossed our path within a small distance so we turned around and went back to our room. I finally fell asleep for a few hours worried about waking up on time the next day, thinking that we might not get our wake-up call at this hotel. I woke up without the wake-up call which we did get in the morning. Perhaps it was the dogs that were barking throughout the night and the cows that were mooing in the morning that woke me up. Our driver came to pick us up. I was looking forward to getting out of Delhi even though I only spent a few hours there and I thought to myself... "Welcome to India"