I’m sitting in the lobby of the hotel and listening to the sounds of India just on the other side of the front door. The soundtrack of India that the guidebooks all describe. Honking of horns, random voices some yelling at the cars as they negotiate the narrow streets, children as they play. Our first place, a budget hotel close to the airport, on a side street off the beaten path proved difficult even for for our taxi driver to locate.
I have looked forward to this trip for the opportunity of cultural immersion. The first opportunity came early with our flight from LA on Air China. While sitting in the international terminal at LAX we watched somewhat surprised at gate handlers forceful herding of the passengers. That would not be the final time. Our economy seats were cramped but still somewhat comfortable until bedtime…in the future we may get strongly consider upgrading.
Our arrival into Beijing was abrupt. I was awake for just a few moments as Chelle grabbed my leg…fish tailing a Boeing 777 is not how one would like to be woken up. We followed that by the brisk temperature that followed us inside from the aircraft, we did not dress appropriately for the terminal. For some reason we had to go through screening & security despite not having left the terminal. We negotiated the length of the airport in search of our gate which turned out to be a shuttle to the plane, a short walk across the tarmac and a flight of stairs. i won’t be able to criticize the cattle call that is a Southwest flight again. It was a 200 passenger free for all getting on the buses. It was an insult to my Canuck politeness, as I was shoved by several little old ladies who sensed my courtesy like it was blood in the water.
We landed in Delhi at 2 am and at the mercy of the airport baggage carousel. A mist or haze surrounded the airport as our driver made his way to our pad, the Om Paradise Hotel.