After all the anxiety and stress of the last few weeks, on travel day things went well. We woke to the warmest day so far and went for a walk in the park, had breakfast in a cafe, and then got driven to Heathrow where check in and security was smooth and easy.
We flew with Jet Airways; it’s been years since I’ve done a long haul flight and I’d forgotten just how huge and luxurious those big planes feel, with the pillows and blankets, and now screens on the back of the seat in front of you with a massive choice of films. There was a category of strong women films and I chose from that and watched Joy, which I really enjoyed (no pun intended). We were fed delicious Indian food for dinner, then later woken after a very short sleep (too excited to sleep) with a lovely breakfast of fresh fruit, muffins and orange juice. Arrivals was easy, changing money was easy, and the taxi we’d booked online to take us to the hotel was there.
Arriving at about 5am UK time and about 9.30 India time, to Delhi heat and a visual overload, we were all pretty quiet in the taxi, just absorbing it all. My first impressions were all good. Morocco had gotten me used to the style of driving and traffic. The pollution didn’t seem as bad as I had feared. Billboards outside the police station described measures being taken to improve safety for women. A lot of the taxis had stickers on the back saying ‘This taxi respects women.’ We saw monkeys outside of the window, just free, not in a caged park or anything, just there free, like squirrels here! The animals I have seen, dogs, working oxen, and of course cows, all look reasonably healthy and not too thin (I had to look away from a lot of the animals I saw in Morrocco).
At the hotel, I had a mini meltdown due to lack of sleep, the heat and general overwhelm catching up with me. After a nap, we went out when it was cooler, got cold water, and ate delicious food for dinner. Afterwards I went out alone to buy fruit and try to practice my few words of Hindi. I felt completely safe and comfortable (aside from my ever-present mild anxiety re getting lost).
Already we have created a little comfort zone for ourselves: a bit of familiarity with our surroundings, a nice place to eat… Even though we will soon undo it and have to do it over again: be out of our comfort zones, up against our edges, then the creation of a new comfort zone, and so on and so on. But that’s what it’s all about right?
Thank you very much for reading.
Photos: flying into Delhi, Delhi airport arrivals, the view from our window and the street (Main Bazaar)