Delhi Day 1

Continued from Taiwan Day 4.

I woke up this morning at around 5:30. Rolled in bed for a bit, then got up and started blogging.


The haul from shopping yesterday in Taipei. I had another Moleskine from my previous European trip, but I forgot to bring it. Perhaps I’ll just buy a new one now for each time that I travel.


Used to eat these chips/crackers in elementary school. We weren’t allowed to eat in class, and they were very crunchy. I’d get hungry, sneak one into my mouth when the teacher wasn’t looking, and slowly let it melt soft then eat it.


Eating like a champ.


Playing Amelie tracks on the iPad accordion while watching Amelie. I started playing the accordion this year. It’s been 10 years since I’ve played a musical instrument regularly and I am now remembering how therapeutic it is for me. I wish real accordions weren’t so big and heavy so that I could carry it with me when I travel.

Finished the movie with my sister while I packed the rest of the luggage. Her and I got along very well this trip. She’s much more familiar with Taiwan than I am, and it felt like we switched birth order these few days. It was her being the older sister and not me being the older brother.

The end of the movie coincided with my time to leave the comfort of Base Camp and out into the wilderness. My sister called me a cab, we hugged, said goodbye and I was on my way.


Just me and my luggage for a while now.


Arrived at HSR station.


Just in time. The next train leaves in 6 minutes.


Leaving Taichung where it’s just a little hazy.


Since I’ve got all the time in the world by myself, I realized how badly the mosquito bites have become. Ferocious little things. Die mosquitoes Die!


Closing in to the airport station. It’s really foggy out here. I hope my flight isn’t delayed. I heard a couple of days ago, the fog got so bad that they had to cancel all fights for a few hours.


Hitting 270km/hr!! 168mph!


You know it’s the airport stop when everyone disembarks with their luggage.


I will be flying China Southern Airline from Taipei to Delhi with a connection in Guangzhou. The first leg of the flight is operated by China Airlines(actually a Taiwanese carrier), and they conveniently have a check-in counter at the HSR station. Sweet, now I won’t have to haul my luggage from here onto the bus and into the airport.

And the adventure starts – now. When I gave my itinerary to the check-in agent, she noticed that my time for connection in Guangzhou is only 1 hour and 35 minutes. She said that Guangzhou usually needs a connection time of 2 hours and 30 minutes to ensure enough time for my luggage to make the connection. Fuck! Stupid airlines selling tickets that are inherently flawed.


The ticket agent gave my bag two different types of priority handling tags. Without me asking, she even called the China Southern counter to ask if my luggage had a chance to make the connection. The reply from the other side is with some luck, it may be possible, but no promises. I realized a while ago that when I am traveling by myself, and not in a group, travel industry people are usually much nicer to me. I’ll add this event to my data points.


Saw that light blue luggage on the connector bus from HSR station to airport. I have that exact same luggage and it went with me all over the world until this trip.

I spent most of the bus ride running through my mind of what I would do if my luggage didn’t make it with me. I am only carrying my laptop, phone and camera with me. None of them have chargers, so now prudence with power usage becomes an issue.


Arrived at Terminal 2. But, that’s not what I am trying to show with this photo. Earlier, when the bus had driven by Terminal 1, I looked outside and saw a large tour group standing on the curb just like the one above. There, I saw an older white gentleman in his 50s just urinating against the wall in front of everyone. WTF!! What I saw did not make sense on so many different levels. I was shocked, then I was mad at the lack of respect!! Still shaking my head as I write this…


Terminal 2.


Had to get my last hit in at the 7 before I leave. Note the dark frame glasses and the lack of lens. Also note two regular clocks depicting time for London and LA, and a whimsical one for Taipei.

 


Wolfed this down in no time. It was good, but really, I just had to go pee really badly. ‘Til next time!


I need a drink. The whole might not have luggage shit is annoying me enough that I decided to head to the lounge and grab a beer. Free WiFi is very nice too. I wonder why none of my friends wanted to come with me on this trip? Do they not realize that we can drink at the open bar for free at basically every single airport lounge that we go to?


Some meat filled steam bum to accompany me to the gate.


There she is. Except, I arrived way too early, so I decided to back track a little and find a restaurant for some food.


Ah yes, how Taiwanese. Braised fatty layered pork, freshly squeeze OJ and some seaweed soup. Chow time.

Knockoff stroller. It’s McLaren!

I was also informed at the gate that our boarding has been pushed back another 15 minutes, which means that we will probably be delayed the same when we arrive in Guangzhou. I guess I won’t have my luggage tonight…sigh.


Recaro makes the seats for this plane. Cool.


I just ate, but they are giving me more food…I am not one to refuse. This is similar to the lunch that I had, except made with chicken. Delicious. I love international flight airplane food.


I hated Mr. Bean for the longest time. I thought that it was just stupid and unfunny. Then literally, one day, it clicked and I am a fan.  Mr. Bean taught me to chill out and stop worrying about my luggage not arriving. Oh yeah, in real life, Mr. Bean also owns a McLaren F1, so that puts him very high up on my list of people I admire.


Almost there.


All stamped through the checkpoints to make my connecting flight.


Hard to believe that I will soon board a flight to India.


I am at an airport in China and they sell a water named Tibet Spring. Tibet Spring like the Arab Spring? Ironic much?


Finally boarding. The flight was delayed for 40 minutes, which means my luggage has a much better chance of making it!


Oh! Indian food!  It’s fish with chicken pea salad and some sort of creamy dessert dish that I’ve had before but don’t know the name. Too bad I wasn’t eating this over India airspace or I could have counted this as my first Indian meal in India.


I’ve never seen a sunset like this before. It looked like the clouds were on fire.


Delhi below me.


I AM HERE!!!


Sometimes two wrongs do make a right. Short connection but with the help with priority tags and my second flight getting delayed, my beloved luggage and I have reunited.

Then at immigration, they gave me a little bit of a hard time. The guy even went as far as to ask me what my father’s name was. That was a little odd. I am harmless! Well, they better lock their wives and daughters…Just kidding…


My airport transfer pickup person is somewhere here…


Found him! Nice touch with the easy to find bright pink sign. I blurred out my name to remain semi anonymous to the third party readers. His shirt says “Being Human”.


Empty parking indicator lights above each spot. Reminds me of the Women’s bathroom in Taipei.


Our Tata with a big bumper in front.


Yup, we are straddling the line like no body’s business. Driving in Taiwan is pretty chaotic already, but India takes it to a whole new level. The lines are guidelines, the driving lanes are anywhere there is space for your car to squeeze through.


Look! An auto rickshaw!


Took us 30 minutes, but eventually we turned into a more residential area. There were stray dogs, trash, piles of rocks, bricks, and wood pieces just littered everywhere. Then the car stopped amongst all this and the driver said that we had arrived at my hotel.


Here’s the front door. I entered and was shown downstairs into the check in desk/dining area/lounge/internet area etc. There were several men there, and I am guessing that the proprietor is one of them. They all chatted me up, asking me the usual questions such as where I am from, what I want to see here etc. etc. Then, they gave me a glass of coke and checked me into my room.


Cool, exactly what I expected.

The water heater in the restroom needs to be turned on 25 minutes before showering to heat the water up.

I did discover that my bathroom basically has zero sound insulation from the bathroom of the room next to mine though.

I also tried using the internet in the lobby and the internet was down. I can already see how this will be the norm and not the exception. I couldn’t even use email or Skype to let my family know that I made it here. I had to use data roaming on my cell phone to email, and in about 2 emails, I racked up more than $25 dollars in roaming costs already….WTF! I’ll be on the search for an internet café tomorrow for more reliable internet service. Not having internet is one thing that I refuse to stand for!

To be continued at Delhi Day 2 Part 1.

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