Tuesday, May 16, 2006

 

Arrival to Delhi

First dispatch... from Lynda and Erica:

OUr journey started in the corner lobby at RDU INternational Airport. We were all on time and giddy and ready for travel. We hit Chicago and met JT, who had flown standby the night before. There were 15 of us from ECU scattered around the Boeing 777 (?) and arrived in Delhi 14 hours later into the welcoming arms of Derek.

Delhi hit us with a blast of hot air and dozens of men who wanted to 'help' us with our luggage in exchange for a fee. We somehow made it into a reserved bus and off we sped (and I do mean sped) to the Pahar Ganj district. The bus was unable to pass easily into our neighborhood and since the hotel was 'just around the corner' we unloaded and walked a good half mile through traffic and street vendors and more people demanding that they provide us service. We're talking bicycle rickshaw drivers, auto rickshaw drivers, bus drivers, baggage handlers, you name it. We were Very American. A single file line of Americans fresh off the airplane and taking in our new, but temporary, home.

This morning we (Lynda and ERica) ventured out early. IT was just about 7 a.m. and we encountered yet again men who wanted to drive us places, sell us okra, and offer us guided tours through the "Charming and quiet" gardens nearby. We refused all offers. There were dozens of cows and dogs, women selling garlands of marigolds and men selling produce and sugar cane drinks [we passed].

We walked a couple of blocks, then backtracked once we discovered our imagined "Shortcut" was not a shortcut. After taking breakfast on the rooftop back at the hotel, we met a mechanical engineer from CHennai, who was obtaining a certification in Delhi. JT came along, the first of our group to surface after nearly 24 hours of travel. Then Derek arose and directed us here, to the ancient communications store with these orange and white bubble cubicles. There is no AC here, althought most of the rooms do have it (not ours; we'll have it fixed today).

FIrst day in INdia. We're still figuring out the photograph dispatch situation... more later. With photos, hopefully! We are all happy and safe. Please write!

Comments:
So glad to hear you are all there and OK!!!
 
I'm happy to hear that everyone arrived safely and that all is well. Give my best to the Ebendorf/Braun roughnecks.
 
thanks for the news... could you say hi to Jamie?
 
What a fine report from Delhi. It sounds like you will have to get creative in the refusal of services and goods such as auto rickshaw excursions and okra. You should come up with a list of "Top 5 ways to avoid venders" to include 1) Don't make eye contact 2) Don't worry about being rude 3) Start singing Mariah Carey circa 1989.

We need 2 more. Go!
 
4... make ridiculous demands
5... just keep walking
6... offer to sell them something
 
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