New Delhi Travel Blog› entry 1 of 13 › view all entries
My trip started with a 3 hour delay in Cleveland making the connection in Newark a little tight, but I was able to board the Delhi-bound plane with about 5 minutes to spare. I have to say, for a 14 hour flight it wasn't bad. I had a bulkhead aisle seat on a 777 (seats 3, 3, and 3 across) but it was an extended bulkhead in the middle of the plane so I could really stretch my legs out. Around midnight I took a Tylenol PM and slept for the next 6 hours.
Arriving in Delhi at 9:30 at night without overnight accommodations concerned me a bit, but for some reason, taking care of this detail seemed to fall to the bottom of the list of things I needed to do before leaving home.
Sure enough, after stopping at 4 places and my turning down each one because of cost, the cab driver and I decided on the Hotel Star. It was more than I wanted to spend by about $900 rupees, but it looked presentable, and I didn't want to put the cab driver through any more of my indecisiveness.
It's hard to look at so many things in a foreign country and not think, huh, that sure is different. Not necessarily better or worse, just different. My room was about 10 ft by 12 ft and the bed took up about 2/3 of it. It's just like the beds in China; hard. I mean, like, table top with a sheet thrown over it, hard. The bathroom was nothing if not efficient. It was a small room, maybe 3 ft by 10 ft, tiled floor to ceiling with a shower and a toilet that also doubled as a sink, with a mirror over it. (I washed up over at the shower end, not in the toilet). Like I said, efficient. After I got settled, the bell boy knocked on the door and handed me a roll of toilet paper and a towel.
There'll probably be a few bathroom related stories in the next few weeks and here's one to start off. After I went to the bathroom I looked down to my left and saw the flush handle on the wall and pushed it. But instead of the toilet flushing, a stream of cold water shot out from somewhere just under the toilet seat for a non-toilet-paper cleansing. You can only imagine the surprise. I don't think I've laughed that hard in weeks. The thing is, while you may be clean at that point--and even that's debatable--you're soaking wet so you end up using toilet paper anyway. I suppose with enough target practice that wouldn't be necessary.
For dinner I thought I'd try out a restaurant a few doors down from my hotel. After studying the menu I confidently told the waiter that I'd like the Chicken Malai Sagwala, a garlic naan, and a cup of tea. The waiter explained as best he could that that might not be the wisest choice. By my repeatedly saying, I'm sorry, I don't understand, it apparently signaled the manager to come over to inform me that I was trying to order a meal for 4 people, almost a whole chicken. He pointed out the scaled down version and I agreed. Then he brought over a cup of chai tea. This may come as a surprise but I've never had chai tea. I was going to have some recently but I thought, why have chai tea at home when in a few weeks I can have the real thing? It's delicious. The chicken arrived, though it took me a minute to actually determine that. It was in a small copper pot filled with thick, dark green sauce. It was outstanding and so was the garlic naan, which is a flat bread. I love spicy food and this chicken was that and then some, but it was great. The tea was 30 cents, the naan was 60 cents--and there were at least 4, 10 inch by 4 inch pieces-- and the chic ken was $2.50.
When I got back to my room I thought I'd continue working on this entry but saw that my laptop was low on power so I plugged my travel surge protector into my India plug adaptor and plugged that into the wall outlet, which promptly shorted out all the lights in my room. After explaining to the hotel manager what happened he took me to a new room which was actually a bit nicer than the first one. Before he left though I wanted to try my adaptor and surge protector in the wall outlet. Pop...darkness....followed by new room number 3 and a firm promise not to use any more plugs. I found out later that the surge protector is only 110V not the universal 110/220V.