The flight into New Delhi was rather uneventful, though to be honest if it was I probably wouldn’t remember it anyway; I was far too tired and only managed about 30 minutes of sleep on the plane. Going from Dubai to Delhi was jarring, flying out again the striking thing about the city lights were the uniform and organized arrangement of them. Two and a half hours later I could begin to see the lights of Delhi and after coming from Dubai it was a confusing mess, and that impression didn’t change after I landed.
The chaos started before I left the plane, on a typical US flight everyone just kind of waits for their turn to get into the aisle and exit the plane. Not so on the Delhi flight, before we finished taxiing to the gate people were starting to get up and grab their bags so they could wait for the doors to open. And if you don’t fight your way into an aisle, you’ll be waiting for the rest of the folks to deplane before exiting yourself. So I did what none of you would probably think I’d ever do….I forced myself into the line.
After exiting the aircraft the chaos continued, I followed the huge crowd through the airport and wound up at the arrivals counter where I needed to present my previously filled out passenger arrival form. Passengers queued up at each of the 40+ or so desks to enter the country and it was interesting to see that if someone was just slightly out of line, other people would take that as an opportunity to start a new line, bypassing the folks behind them.
After going through the line my next task was to collect my checked bag, after taking nearly an hour to go through immigration, I still had to wait another 30-45 minutes for my bag to show up on the belt. Once that was done, all that remained was to exchange some currency and to find my driver to take me to the hotel.
Despite it being about 4:30am, there was an incredible number of drivers waiting to pick up people from the airport. It took me several minutes, but I finally found the driver bearing the GrapeCity sign and was on my last leg of my journey to getting some sleep! Of course, first I had to get there. This was no small feat; traffic was light however that didn’t stop me from seeing the insanity of driving in Delhi! People, bikes, auto rickshaws, cars, trucks, and buses were all present on the highway from the airport to the hotel…despite driving on what was obviously a one-way road there were several vehicles driving towards us!
I think I was lucky that I was so tired because it didn’t really faze me too much, only after a day of rest did it hit me how crazy that trip was. After arriving at the hotel it was finally time to get some sleep! At this point, except for the 30 minutes of sleep I got on the last flight, I had been awake since 8am EST Saturday and I was finally getting to sleep at 7pm EST on Sunday…unfortunately, the driver was going to be at the hotel to pick me up in only 4 and a half hours.