A blog about my travel to Delhi and Calcutta (Kolkata) in December 2018.
Izmir, Turkey to New Delhi, India
Part I: Delhi 1
December 3, 2018. Izmir, Turkey 12:00 Noon
Today I start my trip to India. Out about three. Taxi to the airport. Just got my first Blurb book today. Pictures are great. The Basmane section of Izmir. But I have to revise. I failed to get my name and the title on the cover.
3:40. Just took the taxi. Got checked into the airport. Very quiet here. Gave Selma a call. It was terrible easy. I came through security twice. No hangups. I hope it is almost that easy in Istanbul. But it is quite a long while before I am on that plane to Delhi.
4 December. 8:15. Delhi. Unbelievable, but I am here. Hotel Alka, New Delhi. Room 306. Well, it was not a bad trip. As good as could be expected with the crowds.
Man! This country looks much poorer than I thought it would. That’s the truth.
Right now, I could probably use some sleep, but I am not sleepy at all. So I will write up some of the story. It was a quick trip from Izmir to Istanbul. But the plane was packed. Still not bad. I came into the old airport. Then I went right through up to the international section and went through passport control. Then it was a very long walk to the departure gate for Delhi. I guess it must be the very last one. The farthest one. I only had to remove my shoes once.
They started loading, but the wait in the plane was very long. Most were Indians and they brought big bags into the cabin. Bigger than my checked bag.
My seat was up quite close to first class and an aisle seat that I asked for. There was an old Indian woman next to me with her young son, apparently. She could not understand a word of English from the Turkish stewardesses. But no matter. It was an OK flight. We flew along the Black Sea, over Georgia and Azerbaijan, to the north of Iran, then right down across Afghanistan and Pakistan. Just south of Kabul and over to Lahore, then down to Delhi.
I waited till the plane emptied to get out. I just did not want to rush. Then came through the airport a long way, down to passport control. There was a section for those with e-visas. It was not as professional as I expected. And the young guy did not take my fingerprints. However, I saw him do it to the girl in front of me. There is a camera that takes your picture, and probably blood pressure and pulse too. The guy ordered me to take my cap off.
He was such a crude young guy. No manners whatsoever. None!
After stamping my passport, he said loudly: “Go!” I was taken back.
I said to him, “Well, you don’t have to be so rude.” I don’t think that he understood the word “rude.” I know that I have gotten used to the polite manners that one sees in Turkey. What a big change in India!
Then I went on to find my luggage. The setup is rather strange, because before you get to the big luggage section, there appears many shops under blindingly bright, white, lights. I was wondering what had happened to the luggage, but it is on the other side of that section with shops.
It was a huge space. There must have been some twenty luggage belts. There is a board that shows where the luggage will come in, according to the flight number.
Man! Such confusion. The Indians had such big bags and so many of them. I tried to get close to the conveyor belt, but gave it up. I backed away from all the confusion and scrambling for bags. They created such an inordinate amount of confusion. I know that Indians love it!
A heavy woman in a Punjabi outfit was about to knock me over and she was apparently not even aware of what she was doing. They do not know manners. That is what struck me. All or most were peasants, it appeared.
But they are now living in the cities, presumably. Some of them, anyway.
I called Selma while I was waiting there and the phone worked fine. I was happy about that.
Finally, I got my bag. Thankfully! Indians are taking bigger ones than mine into the plane. It really seems out of control when it comes to peasants travelling from abroad with luggage.
I was ready to hit the streets, just as soon as I could get out of there.