Tuesday, September 16, 2008

After leaving the houseboat, our mission was to get to Delhi.

The flight carrying 15 of the group was too full by the time the last 3 pilgrims signed on, so that small group had to fly from Cochi to Bangalore for the night. Early the next day they would then fly to Delhi, with the rest of the group arriving one-half hour later. Or so was the plan.

Our tour organizer, the very calm and organized Col. John, assured us that arriving at the airport one-hour in advance was good enough. However, it turns out the flight was over-booked, so just 4 of us got to travel to Delhi to meet up with the other three, while the rest of the group were being moved to another flight. Their itinerary had them leaving Cochin just 1 hour later, jumping to Mumbai to pick up more passengers and then landing in Delhi. They should have been just 90 minutes later. Of course, that flight was delayed, and they didn't arrive at the Hotel Good Times until 3:30 pm.

Having been on the first flight, Paul and I stayed near the hotel to greet the second group and make sure they 'made it.' Once they checked in, they hit the ground running, hiring rickshaws and jumping on the metro to soak in as much of this large city as possible in the short time we had available to us. Many went to the Red Fort and Gandhi's funeral pyre; some went to the Mosque, which was insanely crowded. Paul and I did some bartering in Connaught Place, shopping and stopping for a beer.

As we walked around I kept realizing that all of 'it' was the "real" India. We ate in a cool, urban hipster kind of restaurant/lounge. The music was anything from George Michael to house music. The place was populated by locals, most in their 20's. My projections of India wanted to be met with sitar music and a tabla player. I thought we should be sitting on the floor and eating with our hands. And that happens in India, absolutely. But so does this. It was a necessary realization.

1 comment:

tia said...

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