After a lifetime of waiting...
Trip Start Jan 15, 2011
69Trip End Apr 15, 2011
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A few things to know about India:
- The currency is the Rupee ($1.00 USD = $44.00 Rupees)
- India is the largest democracy in the world with a population of over 1.2 Billion people
- The official language of India is Hindi and English is a secondary official language
So…I finally made it to India…after 32 years! Well, New Delhi, In India to be exact. You can imagine my excitement and anxiety over coming here. I have heard so many different stories over the years about India. From our experience when anybody comes to India for the first time as a foreign born Indian they either love it or completely hate it...no in between.
We landed in New Delhi in the evening around 8:30 pm. I got my first taste of “no rules apply” when the plane was still taxiing with the seatbelt sign clearly on and half of the passengers were up and pulling their luggage out of the overhead bins. My second taste came when I allowed about 2 inches of space between Aman and I while getting into the aisle and me following him, Three people pushed right past me, even though they could clearly see we were together, so that they could disembark first. Lesson learned. Leave no potential space, no matter how minute, between me and Aman or we will get separated. In a country with over a BILLION people...space is a precious commodity and it gets taken in the blink of an eye.
I heard all sorts of stories about the airport. My experience was quite a pleasant one. The Airport in New Delhi was well organized and very clean. We even accidently left one of my teapots at the money exchange counter and the employee came running out after us. This is a relatively new experience as since the Commonwealth games in late 2010 they have improved the airport infrastructure drastically! For instance they have gone from the squatting toilets to the actual sit down ones (it's about time!). We also experienced only one person trying to “help” us with our bags to get a tip. When you exit the airport there is plenty of help with your baggage by the locals and they don't take 'no' for an answer. They will walk with you all the way to a taxi while you carry or roll your luggage and just keep a hand on the luggage the whole way and then ask for a tip because they 'helped' you. The horn honking was out of control! Cars were honking at other cars, bikes and people, for no reason…all the time. All the drivers and pedestrians are so used to it nobody even takes a second glance at all the honking. It's almost as if it's become another language that all the locals understand.
Since we drove into New Delhi at night time I was not able to see much except for a few smaller street side stores and the large buildings that belonged to Fortune 500 companies such as Amercian Express, Lufthansa and IBM. Most of them are call centres where all of our calls are routed to!
I can't wait to get up in the morning to see India in all its glory in the daylight!