Day 1: Departure & Arrival

New Delhi Travel Blog

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The view from my hotel room my first day in India
Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

I'm sitting in the aisle seat of the hottest airplane I have ever sat on. I seem to be the only one who notices the humidity. I stick out like a sore thumb and even though we are still docked at JFK I feel as though we are already in India. The decor on the plane, the people sitting around me, the flight attendants... Everything is different.

I took two xanax and expected that combined with the two Jack and Cokes plus two Tiger beers I would awake in Delhi. No. I awoke two hours later to the woman sitting next to me tugging on my sleeve asking if I was going to eat the crackers that had been handed out. Tiger beer is from Singapore, it's pretty good.
My hotel room in Delhi the first night.
Twelve hours to go.

All around me sit Indian men and women. With the exception of a business man a few seats away in first class and a woman at the back of the plane I am the only Westerner on board. I am impressed with the quality of Bollywood films. Many of them look to be more interesting than Western cinema. I will try to see a movie or two while I am in India. Vivek Sood, my G-III connect is supposed to pick me up at the airport in Delhi but the details of this operation are unclear. The old man next to me has removed his turban and his hair is surprisingly short!

I have arrived in Delhi and goddamn it is hot. I took an air conditioned cab to my hotel and witnessed many jaw dropping sights in such a short period. I am amazed to see people literally laying in the streets with the dogs and the rats, small children included.
rickshaw races
I am not sure how I feel about my decision to venture here alone but what's done is done.

I checked into my hotel and took a shower. My room is on the 8th floor and overlooks all of Connaught Place, the center of Delhi. There is a pool and a bar, I almost feel as though I am home. Tomorrow I will meet Vivek for a late lunch and tea. After my shower I packed my day pack and walked down to CP in search of a converter for my iPod and cell phone. As I walked through the streets kids came up to me asking my name and if they could shake my hand. I make a friend, 15 year old Annil who walked around with me. Annil took me to some shops and helped me to locate a converter. I bargained down the price from Rs 550 to Rs 450 and gave Annil Rs 50 for his help. I felt victorious although the clerk at my hotel later told me that I should have paid no more than Rs 100.
Ice cream vendor at India Gate
Lesson learned.

After dinner I went out again to the India Gate which was very alive and crowded. There were literally 100 kids of all ages selling light up toys, chai tea, and puri bread. "No" did not seem to be a word they had heard before. I made two friends, Sid and Vineet Singh who were both teachers on holiday from Bangalore. We hung out and talked for a bit before I headed back to the hotel. I'm pretty sure they were on ecstacy.

I paid Rs 80 for a scary rickshaw ride home, Rs 120 less than I had paid on the way there. Back at the hotel I met two very sexy Dutch girls, smoked a cig by the pool, and got into bed very tired. Day one in India has been wild. I watched an episode of Spongebob in Hindi while writing this log. I can't begin to imagine what is in store for me tomorrow.
Africancrab says:
Awesome Max, I'm so proud of you for writing your first blog, how exciting. I have enjoyed reading it, yes the India gate is a great tourist place, besides the locals. I need to write my India blog too sometime.
Posted on: Mar 03, 2010
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The view from my hotel room my fir…
The view from my hotel room my fi…
My hotel room in Delhi the first n…
My hotel room in Delhi the first …
rickshaw races
rickshaw races
Ice cream vendor at India Gate
Ice cream vendor at India Gate
India Gate
India Gate
New friends!
New friends!
This kid stood in front of me for …
This kid stood in front of me for…
New friends Sid and Vineet. Teache…
New friends Sid and Vineet. Teach…
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photo by: peeyushmalhotra