Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 109 - BKK to Delhi, India

Spent the day getting everything settled before heading to India. Spent the morning deciding what to bring with me and what to ship home. I ended up shaving 5kg from my backpack but it cost an arm and a leg to ship stuff back! Afterwards, went to a pharmacy to get some more malaria pills for the rest of my travels in the less developed areas.

I would arrive in India at 10:30pm so I booked a hostel and airport pickup beforehand so I wouldn't have to deal with it when I arrived. The flight ended up taking about 4.5 hours, which was more than I expected, but it was due to the 1.5 hour time difference that I didn't account for when I looked at my itinerary. It's interesting how India and Myanmar have times that are 30 minutes off from the rest of the world on the minute-hand.

The flight was probably 50% booked, and I managed to get a whole row to myself. It also kind of smelled like baby poo at the beginning and end of the flight.

Going through immigration at the Delhi airport was quick and painless, and there weren't too many people there at night. People have told me that it would be a culture shock, and I braced myself. The ride from the airport to the hotel was interesting. It just seemed really dangerous and chaotic driving through the city. There didn't seem to be any method to any of the driving, and I saw many instances that could have potentially ended in an accident (i.e. cars parked on the side lanes, that could easily get hit by oncoming traffic) This was at night too, when I suspect the traffic is less congested.

I arrived in the neighborhood where the hostel was and I could see the sheer poverty of the country already, with many, many people sleeping on the floor and in the streets. Dogs and even cows were also scattered around the roads. Garbage was littered everywhere. I don't know why, but it just reminded me somewhat of what my perception of a warzone would look like in a city. Definitely the worst place I've seen so far in my travels, and this was the area where tourists were! I was scared to leave the taxi, since there were scarcely any streetlights, and I had to walk through dark and narrow alleys to get to the hostel.

There was an earthquake when I was in the taxi on my way to the hostel measuring 6.6, but I didn't feel it. People were talking about it at the hostel though, and it was covered on the news, showing footage of all the locals congregating outside. The hostel ended up transferring me due to some sort of “earthquake” issue to another guesthouse. It was basically a room that I suspect used to be the kitchen. Pretty shitty conditions for my first night in India.

I met an Indian couple who was on their honeymoon at the guesthouse and we talked for a little bit. They informed me that there was a bomb that went off in Delhi earlier today killing around 70 people. I'll have to check the news later to see what that was all about...Hopefully India gets better...People have told me to get out of Delhi and into some of the other parts to really have a pleasant experience. I should follow their advice..

Indira Ghandi International Airport (Delhi, India)

Last meal in BKK

First night's accommodations in Delhi...

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