|I am here in Delhi and I live to tell the tale! |
|First, I'll say that I do realise that this was totally arriving in India the easy way! |
We arrived in Delhi airport at 3.15 on Sunday afternoon, I can definitely recommend that time, as the airport was almost deserted. Being nearly the first off our flight there were only several people in front of me at immigration.
Tried to get an Airtel SIM from their airport booth, only to be told by a disinterested and most unprofessional seeming bunch that there is definitely no such thing as a lifetime (until 2014) SIM. I resisted the urge to tell them where they could put their SIM card (which is incidentally, where the sun don't shine - even in Delhi) and walked away in disgust.
Leaving the airport was very smooth as we were met by someone who has airport access, and who has a car, so not even any wrangling with touts. After reading about the "trial by fire" of running of the gauntlet, I have to say that I was (almost) disappointed to be led out to a quiet parking area!
The heat and humidity was what hit me, I was expecting it but even so, the humidity was incredible. As London had been fairly cold I was wearing jeans, and even in those few minutes before getting into the aircon car I was immediately feeling soaked and resolved to buy some lighter clothing at the very first opportunity.
From there it was straight to Vasant Vihar, almost no traffic as it was a Sunday afternoon, but what sights there were! Astonishingly vibrant clothing, guys pedalling overloaded rickshaws nineteen to the dozen despite the heat.
Arriving at our flat, we were introduced to our guard. Apparently we have a guard. Or our neigbours do. *shrug*
We also have a gardener it seems, the following day the guard knocked on our door, pointed to a guy with a can and said "Gardener" and left. The gardener pointed to the roof terrace and performed what was clearly a watering mime. Not speaking Hindi, I have absolutely no idea what the deal is, but he happily watered the plants on the terrage and went away again. Crazy India...
The flat is awesome, far bigger than anything either of us have ever lived in before, and I've no idea why we've been allocated something so huge. Not that I am complaining, and we have the whole roof as a terrace, which will be great for entertaining.
After moving in (ie emptying our few cases) we realised we hadn't eaten and had made no provision for a meal, so we girded our loins and ventured forth in search of fodder. Well... we called a taxi.
Remembering a restaurant in VV called Punjabi by Nature, we asked the taxi driver to take us there. Darkness had fallen rather suddenly, and not only was there a lot more traffic, but it was far more chaotic. Oh, and the taxi lights appeared to be about as bright as a couple of candles. En route a cow loomed out of the darkness at us, and I made a complete idiot of myself saying "Hey look a cow.. did you see that cow.. there was a cow, it had horns and everything" The driver glanced sympathetically at my partner, clearly of the opinion that he was unfortunate to be saddled with someone who was clearly a bit simple.
The food at P by N was amazing, I had plain tandoori chicken, something I'd often had in England but never as good as this. The naan was beautiful, crispy and soft and YUM!
After our meal we had a brief stroll around VV, astonished once more at the heat after leaving the cool restaurant. Saw some more cows, took a couple of photos but managed to not make a spectable of myself this time.
Not wanting to wait for a taxi in the heat, we braved our first auto, it was surprisingly cool when moving and he only got lost twice. On returning to our flat, it seemed freezing cold. It seems that in India there is no "Normal" temperature!
Oh, and my quest for a mobile?
Yesterday I visited one of Airtel's main offices, and what a difference! Totally clued up. "Lifetime SIM? No problem madam, please take a seat and we will show you some phones." They set it up for me, activated the SIM immediately and even made sure it was working before handing it over. Superb service, and far better than my experience in England.
|Preponed - July 2008 |
I have been invited to fly out to Delhi with my partner when he arrives, just for a short visit.
|How it all started... April 2008 |
|Looks like I'm going to India! *shock* |
To be frank, India hadn't been high on my list of place to visit, and while I've enjoyed holidays in Tunisia and Morocco, I'm not the most intrepid of travellers, and due to severe motion sickness, I'd rarely ventured outside Europe.
However my partner is being sent to New Delhi - a year earlier than expected and will be there for two years, living in Vasant Vihar.
I'm not about to give up a great job and move away from my family and beloved English countryside, but it is possible for me to visit him there for holidays, maybe even to take a sabbatical and live there for a while if it works out. Despite my realising it's a great travel opportunity, guide books are rather warning-packed and the whole idea was feeling pretty negative until I learned even more about the country, and Delhi in particular.
Thanks to IndiaMike, I'm (almost) looking forward to his departure, so I can visit him in India!