Delhi is stamped in my passport! Not without incident I might add. Between home and London we made an unscheduled stop as a passenger was suddenly taken ill. Phoning ahead the guard arranged for an ambulance to meet the train at the next station where the ambulance crew were waiting and after a few moments took the poor sod off on a stretcher. America eat your heart out, all at no cost to the passenger and I did not hear anyone ask if there was a credit card to pay for all the service.
On the train from London to Heathrow a young girl (mid 20’s I guess) sat on a jump seat and ate sweets from a box as if they were either her first or last meal. Feeding frenzy or what. Finally, on the flight over I had the good fortune to sit next to a student who smelt as if he’s not washed for some indeterminate days or maybe weeks and one row back from a family with the most miserable baby ever. She cried from embarking to disembarking . I was barking by the time the plane landed so that was OK.
Delhi airport impressed me with its efficiency. Quick, no hassle and out through arrivals. Pity I didn’t meet its high standards as I walked straight passed my welcoming party without spotting them. No problem, I stood close to the nearest ashtray and lit up. I decided I would book into the nearest 5 star hotel once my nicotine level had been restored but before I could say “Hilton Hotel, James” the VSO party had found me. Deep joy on their part, deep sadness on my part as I now find myself booked into a sleepery (sometimes known as The something Institute) more in keeping with VSO budget constraints. However it caters for people from cradle to grave. I know that because outside there is a row of vehicles that look like ambulances but have Ambulance/Hearse written on their sides. Now, whether that means that they are dual purpose or whether they don’t have much faith in the health system I’ve no idea but I like the multi functional all purpose approach. A lesson for our NHS perhaps in cost cutting (or in politico speech, meeting efficiency targets).
My fear now is that my laptop will blow up before I can fire this off. The voltage here varies from nothing to 240V and all stops in between. But, looking on the bright side I have an A.C in my room. The windows don’t close, the A.C unit sounds worse than the proverbial bag of bolts and I keep having to clear the mossies out of the air filter as they block the feeble air flow every 5 minutes but hey, I’ m here in Delhi and the fun will start eventually. Or not.