To India!January 28, 2019 in India ⋅ 🌫 15 °C
Time to leave Sri Lanka. Not in a big hurry today so we took our time in the morning, though breakfast was only a couple of supermarket muffin type things - nothing provided by our hotel. Caught an Uber to the centre of town and then a bus out to the airport, quite cheap and got us there in good time. There's a large Chinese-built expressway that connects the airport with Colombo and nobody uses it since it has a toll!
Terminal was pretty crowded and the check in was very slow, especially since the guy thoroughly checked our immigration documents for India (visa paperwork etc). I guess they've had issues, and it's the airline's responsibility to fly us back home if we can't get in. Went through emigration and security hoping to have some food on the airside, but the only edible looking thing was Burger King at extortionate prices! Seriously - 16 USD for a Whopper meal!!! That's more expensive than Singapore or Dubai! Admittedly, beef is a rare option here (even though Sri Lanka is mostly Buddhists who don't specifically ban eating beef), but still. We were shell-shocked.
In the end we found a place selling dodgy sandwiches and we had a couple of those to use up our last Sri Lankan money. Flight left on time at 2pm, and thankfully we had food on the flight. Very full and unfortunately I was stuck in the middle seat again! The guy sitting in the window seat had a serious case of manspreading which kept annoying me.
Landed in the dark at around 6pm after circling for a while in a holding pattern and breezed through the terminal with no issues. Apparently Delhi is one of the worst airports for taxi scams so we decided to grab an Uber, but I had to rely on the free terminal wifi to call for one, and once we got in the carpark it dropped out! Luckily the Uber-wranglers in the pickup area could call the guy and get him to come back.
Taxi ride took about 90 minutes to go 10 kilometres, fairly standard for Delhi traffic which is insane. Bikes, rickshaws, cars, buses and trucks filling every possible space and going every direction, constantly blaring their horns. Unlike in Sri Lanka where horn beeping is "I'm here", drivers here seem to be saying "move arsehole" with every toot.
But we arrived in one piece. Our hostel is way out in the suburbs, realistically it's in what would've been a different city but slowly been subsumed by Delhi's urban sprawl. Certainly somewhere that tourists never go, as it's a long way from any tourist attractions! Loads of people around, constant noise, rubbish, animals etc, but realistically not much different from what we were expecting.
Once we settled into our room we went back out for food and ate at a nearby hole in the wall semi-street food place. The kitchen basically fronts onto the street so you know that everything is getting cooked as needed. We shared a vegetable biryani (basically fried rice) and some stuffed naan, both of which were extremely spicy. Shared a joke with the guys running the place that it was not spicy for them, maybe a little bit for us! But still a welcome change after mostly bland Sri Lankan food.
Off to bed, looking forward to getting amongst it over the coming days.Read more