India Trip. Blog 6: Delhi to Lucknow (9 January, 2020)
5:15 Afternoon. Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Made it to Lucknow, but I shot the whole day getting here, unfortunately. But that’s OK. This trip was OK. Man! It really does eat up your time getting to the airport and to the flight. I was one of the last into the plane, but that was my fault.
The room here is good. Mera Mann Hotel. 14,000 Rupees for five days. I will pay them in Rupees. It comes out to just 40 dollars a day. Two hundred dollars total.
5:40 Evening. Things worked out OK. I got out of the hotel by eleven, but it was none too soon. There was a good deal of traffic on the way. But also, I read the print-out wrong. I was supposed to go to Terminal 3. That is the main terminal and it has both domestic and international departures.
So when I lined up to go in to Terminal 2, the guy sent me to the other terminal.
One can just walk there, but it is not very easy, unless one knows the way. You have to go across the street to another building. Then down an elevator, and then walk through a tunnel. But anyway, I saw it and went there to the domestic side and of course Vistara Airlines was at the very far end. There is no getting a close gate for me on this trip.
A young military guy helped me find the way to that tunnel. Otherwise, I would have been lost, as it is not well marked.
I got in and checked my bag. It is written clearly, but somehow it seems that they had trouble reading the ticket page.
Anyway, I got the boarding ticket and went around to the security for the domestic departures. That is the most trouble, because of the very bad organization of it. Almost anyone, it seems, could figure out a more efficient way of doing it. People bunch up. It was so slow. I was all set up and well organized to go through but of everyone going through for that whole time, I was the only one that he made take their shoes off and go back again and put them through the machine.
Everybody else, all the Indians, were just going on through. But when he saw my American passport, he started pulling that shit. That might be why.
So I said, “Well, I’m not going to go all the way back in the line.” But it was hard to get one of those big trays and the line of trays was already full. Then I came back and the guy starts body screening me all over, a second time. I reminded him that he had just done that. He was acting like a robot. All my money was setting there in a bag in a tray at the end and I was waiting for the guy on the other end to put my shoes through that machine. And my shoes did not make any noise with the wand, but he wanted them put through the machine anyway. It just seemed like harassment. I had to wait for a long time for them to come through the machine, just standing there, while probably at least thirty people had gone through. Finally I just walked back past his check post and got my shoes and left, once they came through the machine. Everybody else’s stuff was coming through ahead of them.
Finally, I headed for the gate number 51. It was practically the farthest point in the airport again. But I did not feel like running. I thought I had plenty of time. But actually the plane was almost fully boarded at that time.
I waited to eat a brownie, but then saw that the plane had already boarded. So much time had been wasted getting through that security. I went there and they sent me down the ramp to the plane. It was almost full. A few more came, but maybe they bought late tickets. The guy said that I was the last person to board.
The plane waited for some time more before taking off. The weather had cleared up nicely in Delhi. Some smog, but also sunshine. The flight was fine. I could hardly take it for the one-hour flight, the seat was so hard. But nevertheless, the flight was pleasant. There were some light clouds, but over the cities it seemed to be mostly smog. There was a snack, just a sandwich and a cookie on that flight, with hardly enough time to eat that.
I did change five-hundred dollars in Delhi. So I got 33,500 Rupees. Not a great rate at 67 to a dollar but I am not going scouting around to find a better rate around here. This hotel is 14,000 and I will pay it out of that. They do want rupees. I don’t mind to pay ahead of time as I don’t have to carry the money around.
The taxi was prepaid for Rupees 450, but I gave the guy 100 tip. The taxi in Delhi was 300 and I gave a tip there too. I will tip them if they help me with the bags. But not all of them will. I am being quite generous with these guys. Traffic is horrible.
We got to the place. It is actually a nice hotel. That’s true. There is a traffic circle out in front. I have a nice, big window looking out onto the street. There is a statue of a horse and rider there. I was very happy with the room.
But the window is so dirty, I don’t know if I can take a picture through it successfully. Looks like it has not been washed in 40 years. I don’t know.
So that is the story. Glad that I am finally here. I have to see what I will do tomorrow. It was 17 degrees when we arrived, the high temperature today. The historical city of Lucknow. Old capital of the Newab Dynasty.