Home > Ethnography, International, Travel > Kazuyo: I have arrived to India.

Kazuyo: I have arrived to India.

Wow, here is my quick update/cultural experience of arriving to India.

Even at ORD airport, the gate heading to India had a little more chaotic feeling to it.  Not an unpleasant one. It’s just didn’t feel ordinary.  Let’s say compared to getting on a flight to go to Tokyo, it was distinctively different.

Flight was delayed, but we arrived to DEL about an hour late.  Going to immigration line, they have lines for Indians and foreigners.  There is NOBODY for foreigners’ lines.  I wonder “ummmmm……”  And another traveler says, “Oh, just wait.  It’s just a beginning.”

Some Caucasian people brave to Indians lines, and they seem to have gotten through. Not a problem. So those who are standing in line for foreigners wait patiently and finally, two immigration officers shows up to foreigners’ lines.

No question asked, they look at my passport, visa and give my passport back.  No questioning of why I am there, etc., the general customary questions immigration officers ask.

I don’t find an ATM machine. I am glad that I had some US dollar in cash and exchange at the bank.  I am sure that the rate isn’t great, but I have Indian rupees now.

Go through custom, and there are lines with people with signs picking up mostly foreigners.  I see a sign saying “Pre-paid taxi,” but be aware those are who pretend to be taxi drivers.  So I go to the counter and it says CLOSE.  I wonder, ok, what now?

Then I go to Jet Airways help desk to see if I can get a boarding pass for tomorrow.  But there is a couple who apparently have their luggage damaged and are going through the claim.  After standing in line for 15 minutes, they tell me that I need to go to domestic terminal for that.

Finally, I venture out to the arrival area and I see 3 windows for Pre-Paid taxi again.  I quickly get in line, 5 minutes pass, 10 minutes pass.  The line is not moving at ALL.  After 15 minutes of waiting, I ask a gentleman in front of me, what is going on. He says traffic is so bad, there aren’t enough taxi.  So just wait.

Meanwhile, everybody in the line is calling SOMEBODY trying to get a taxi or a ride.  I tried to call my hotel, but I was not smart enough to program how to call India on my phone and my call fails repeatedly.  So text for help to Melinda.

While I am waiting, checking my emails, and trying to be patient.  People are yelling and getting upset at the window, so the guy leaves.  I am starting to wonder whether I have to spend a night at an airport tonight.

Finally, 2 people come back to the window after 30 minutes or so waiting, and a line to the window (somewhat a line, but not a straight line) breaks out and people start rushing and running to the window.

There are two Asian women who were behind me and they run in front of me to get to another window.  I yell at them, “Hey, you were behind me.” They say, “well, you were too  slow, besides you were waiting in that line, not this line.”  They smirk  me a look and wait for their turn.  I think to myself, “is there any order here?”  It’s just the beginning, I realize later.

Finally, I get to my turn and the window person tells me that it would be 310 rupees.  I tell give him 400 rupees and he tells me that I need give him 10 rupee.  I tell him I don’t have it since I just landed. He gives me back 100 rupees and charges me 300 rupee instead of 310.

I follow the sign to get to pre-paid taxi and I start crossing and I get yelled at by a policeman I shouldn’t be going that way.  Sign is pointing left, but the line for the taxi is on the right.  So I get in a line.  I see the two asian women who cut in front me without any problem, 3 parties ahead of me.  I am thinking, “Japanese niceness has to go, I guess.”

It’s hot, loud, people yelling and shouting.  I am thinking that it definitely has different energy compared to the Philippines. The only word that comes to me is chaos, but it’s not the right terminology.  I wait and wait and finally a taxi comes up and I get in.  It’s HOT and HUMID. I can hardly breath.

Taxi person is very nice and asks me if it’s the first time India for me, I say yes.  The traffic is jammed, and the road is packed.  I see people hanging on the side of the car—I have seen this on photos, but people really DO that!  We drive through and spend maybe 20-25 minutes in the car, perhaps for 5 minutes when there is no traffic (another guy in line told me that it would be 5 minutes to the hotel from the airport).   At the toll booth, a man with a stick is checking underneath of trucks—I wonder if they are checking for bombs?  Or something being smuggled????

We drive by the field with burning tires (smell indicated that), honking traffic, people randomly stopping on the side of the road.  I see squatters and also smell curry.  Curry smells GOOD for sure, “Perhaps I will try something right before I leave India,” I think to myself.  I am thinking that it kind of reminds me of a combination of Manila and Kaoshang night market.

And suddenly, we pull into a gated area with a mall and that is where the hotel is. Separated from the rest of the chaos, but right next to the highway!

This is definitely a beginning of an adventure, I think to myself.

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: