Wednesday, January 12, 2005

India Trip 2

We finally landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi on the 3rd (Monday). I was back in India after a period of nearly 6 years. By the time we got out of the plane it was already dark - one whole day wasted.

The first thing we realised when we got out of the plane was that it was damn cold. The temperature was hovering around 15 degree Celsius. It was cold considering that I usually keep my air con temperature of my room in Malaysia at around 18 degrees.

Another thing I noticed (or felt) after touching down on Indian soil is the smell. It’s not a bad smell or anything like that but something, which lingers in the air. Another thing you notice after you pass the customs and immigration checks is the noise - a lot of people talking, shouting + cars honking + engines running. It was chaotic. Add numerous beggars, including kids hanging on to you and begging for money, into the equation and you can understand how shocking it was for my wife. I had experienced it before but still; it was not easy to deal with the situation.

The guy who was supposed to pick us up was not there and we had to call him up. He later sent a vehicle to send us to our hotel - Ashok country resort hotel, which is quite near the airport but away from the main city centre. It was cheaper as compared to the other hotels in the city. In India they follow the dual rate policy, a lower rate for the locals and one much higher one for foreigners. Since we had taken a package, I am not really sure what the rates were.

The rooms were OK and tidy but after the hotel rooms in Malaysia and the 5 star hotel in Mumbai, it was definitely a let down. It was clear that the bed sheets had been mended several times as I noticed a number of clean stitches. However, I was thankful that the bathroom was quite clean.

We had a GREAT meal - I love North Indian food and for me a vegetarian, considereing the lack of choice of vegetarian food in Malaysia, it was paradise for me - paneer, naan, daal, mix vegetables, chutneys and more I can't remember. In the room after the meal, switched on the TV and found that they have around 20 channels. However, my wife was really tired and I had to switch it off even though I wanted to finish watching the great Hindi movie that was on. Unlike other women, my wife hates the idiot box.

More later...

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