Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Trip to India: Day 1: Aeroflot and Delhi

So for the past 12 days or so (the edges of the trip are a little blurry) I've been in India with my mom, my brother Stephen, and his girlfriend Jasleen. My mom and I started off in Delhi for one day and then went to meet Stephen and Jasleen in the city of Cochin on the southern coast. India was an incredible and strange experience and I hope you can get a sense of that through my day-by-day blog! I provide the drawings and commentary, and Stephen Jasleen & Co. provide the fantastic photos! Enjoy!



Day 1: We began our trip on the ever-friendly Aeroflot Russian Airlines whose slogan is "The World Smiles To You." Ironically, the flight attendants, and any of the workers in the Moscow airport, do not.



On the first leg of our flight, to Moscow, we saw a beautiful sunrise/moonset over the plane's wing. The water I used for the watercolor, though, turned a murky purplish black which raised a red flag for the security inspection after we got into the airport. The delightful security guard, who we'll call Natasha, took the bottle with the purple water in it, pointed at it, and said "Problem." and threw it away. We hung around in the airport for a couple hours.


My mom clearly enjoyed it as much as I did.


In the gate, however, we did see the first of many ridiculously adorable Indian babies.



We boarded the plane to Delhi, on which the passengers were surprisingly more boisterous than the workers in the airport. Everyone was walking around and chatting for a good portion of the flight and applauded rousingly when we landed.

Airports have a tendency to make all cities feel exactly the same. An airport is an airport. But in Delhi, even the airport was bizarre because we landed in the middle of the night, so there was a thick cloud of fog inside the baggage claim. (We'll come back to the fog later. I'm not even sure why there is so much fog in Delhi...it's nowhere near an ocean.)

Driving back to our hotel was a strange experience. We picked out our names on a silver placard from the Hyatt amongst a sea of other drivers and signs and made our way through the enormous parking lot. Because of the dense fog, we couldn't see past the edges of the road as we drove, so the landscape felt like a bizarre floating highway in the middle of a dimly-lit cloud. When we could catch glimpses of buildings, they had strange amber colored lights and chain-link fences which made it feel like we were in some enormous military base in the sky. We arrived at the Hyatt, which looked very much like an enormous penitentiary from the outside, had the hood, trunk, underside, and glove-compartment of the taxi checked, and proceeded inside. We were helped from the cab to our room by no less than 6 people (all of whom we probably should have tipped) and passed out for a few hours before hitting the town.

1 comment:

Kandukuri Kishore said...
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