So here I am in Mother India again… now were to start regarding this place. The beginning I guess. I went through the normal stuff at airport security… I’m treated as a suspect, searched, patted down and made to stand and wait while the screener calls over a buddy to confer on my X-rayed computer… I think they were MAC fundamentalists and I only have a DELL, so I was worthy of an insurgent attack by airport security! Then of course there was the delay out of Charlotte putting us close to the edge of catching our flight to Delhi, which of course left from 2 terminals over. But being Newark New Jersey we knew not to say anything as this was Soprano country!
The flight to Delhi was about 14 hours straight but we did have the best airline food ever. Folks, fly with the Hindu’s if you are a vegetarian… they even had the Curd flowing but the farting was a bit much in a confined space of economy class.
We flew the northern route up past Iceland, across Norway and Sweden down through the Baltic States into southern Russia past the Caspian Sea and all the “Stans” the last being Pakistan. I waved to Bin Laden as we passed over the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan and in a moment of pure genius I noted that if we ever catch the bastard don’t shot him, don’t even water board him… put him thorough airport security over and over again… he will fess up and kill himself…
We landed in Delhi and all the Hindus on board clapped… Brad asked why and I said, “Well I guess we made it safely” he seemed surprised at that. In less than two hours I would be clapping after our trip to the hotel. I was so grateful like those on the plane “we made it”.
To say that nothing goes to plan in India is understating it a bit… it seems like lawlessness as in the old wild west days and you can’t help feeling like you are the Sheriff without a gun! I’m tired and sleep is calling so I won’t go into detail here but catching the taxi was confusing, disorientating and part mystery… riding in the taxi on the other hand at night in a city of over 40 million was sheer terror and the ride of our lives!!!! How we never hit anyone or anything is nothing short of amazing and how we were not hit is even more amazing. This is driving skill folks and if it is not, then it must be divine intervention!
After we arrived at the guest house in what must have been record time… I clapped folks, not because of the time but just like those on the flight who deal with the perils of travel in India regularly… WE MADE IT.
There are already a thousand stories to tell but space on this blog will not permit. We did however venture (or should I say adventure) out to the Red Fort in old Delhi today. The young beggars, the people trying to sell you something, the smells of the city including the body odor of the driver we rented for the day, the pedal power and motorized rickshaws, the pony carts, the lady who took ALL her clothes off in front of us and rinsed herself under a tap were some of the flavorings that made for a tasty full day.
I did manage to take one photo at the Red Fort… yes I was taking in the historic sites and did not busy myself with forcing images as well. But this scene seemed to sum up a lot of what I was seeing here in India. The beautiful majestic past ruled by powerful warriors being ever vigilant to attack from within and without. And now hundreds of years later a soldier stands guard in these dark and gloomy times with his FN 308 rifle at the ready looking out from the once gold and jewel encrusted ceiling and walls of a Moghul's bed chamber. He stands to defend a land so rich in culture, in history and in spiritual tenants from the same enemy just across the Yamuna river that formed a natural moat much like all those years ago.
Off to Vrindavana tomorrow. A 150k wild ride coming up!!!! YES