Delhi: Day 1

Having a visitor from back home makes it difficult to live in Bangkok. I love the time that they’re here but it makes me miss them that much more when they leave. Luckily after my dad’s 2 week visit in December I was hopping on a 5 hour flight to New Delhi! I was nervous and excited and it got my mind off of being homesick.

My introduction to India was uncomfortable and happened before even leaving Thai soil. In the row next to my friend and I was a group of Indian men who spent the next 5 hours staring at us – oh yeah and did I mention they had their iPhones out watching a porn. Immediately after the seatbelt sign was turned off, they started a childish fight with our flight attendants over a bottle of water. So far I was not impressed with the actions of these men. I felt them staring even more and knew they contemplating starting an unwanted conversation with me.

“Can I have some of your water?”, the airplane perv asked. “No sorry but I think you can buy some.” I said quickly turning my head to avoid eye contact. “Would you like a beer? We have an extra.” (wait I thought beer wasn’t sold on Air Asia…hmm…) “No thanks.”, once again I avoided eye contact but this time I was smart and decided to put my headphones in. They got the hint and I started drifting off to sleep until I heard another commotion coming from these men. They were arguing with the poor flight attendants once again, this time about the banned booze. She told them if they opened their beer she would be phoning the police. This finally got them to shut up and the rest of the trip was filled with stares but they were no longer brave enough to attempt a conversation.

Indian tuk tuk in Delhi.

3 hours later we were in India! We had a 35 minute drive before arriving at the Oodles Hotel in New Delhi. My first impressions of India were as follows:

1. They were no women in sight but LOTS of men were wandering the streets.
2. The tuk tuks are a lot different than our Bangkok tuk tuks. These are closed in the back and have double benches for more passengers.
3. Traffic is insane. There are no lines in the road and even if there were I don’t think people would drive in them. Everyone is honking all around us (cars and trucks even say “honk please” on the back).

So far so good. I wasn’t experiencing a visual culture shock which helped to ease my mind. Our hotel was quite nice and we were greeted by pleasant staff. We began (and ended) our night in Delhi with a trip to the hotel restaurant where I had my first taste of India. I ordered a delicious vegetarian daal and butter naan. At the end of the meal also came a delicious palette cleanser of paan and sugar – which also freshens your breath. I can live like this for two weeks.

-Coti

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