Friday, December 3, 2010

Travel, arrival in Delhi and Day 1

Travel, arrival in Delhi and Day 1

Travel from Indy -> Detroit -> Amsterdam was fine….but then, snow (not real snow, just flurries) and delay, delay, delay….4 hours of sitting on the plane waiting for de-icing…everyone’s favorite activity. And, finally, because of the 4 hour delay in Amsterdam, I arrived in Delhi at 4am…sigh…with a commitment for a 9am meeting. This was all on the Amsterdam airport…unable to cope with snow flurries and cold temperatures….very disappointing.

Finally, at 4am, we arrive in Delhi. The Delhi airport is new and big, very big. It is a long hike from the gate to Passport Control. But, after sitting for 4+7=11 hours, walking was very nice. Passport Control was fine and, as I had only carry-on luggage, I proceeded into the arrivals area. And, amazingly, after a 4 hour delay, there was someone there to meet me. Very excellent!!!

Except, they were there to meet Mr. William James, not Mr. James Williams. However, apologies to dead American philosophers, that sounded like me…at 4am in the morning anyway. So, off we went. A 30 minute ride to the hotel and a 10 minute check-in (as William James) and finally…to bed for a 3 hour nap!!

Up at 8:30 for coffee prior to my meeting and I ran into IU friends (Ash and Sarita Soni) and AU friends (George McLaughlin). This was very nice, after my difficult travel before. I left the Lalit Hotel for my meeting at the American Embassy at 9am. Had a productive meeting and returned to the hotel by noon for Workshop prep. There are still some bugs to work out…but the Workshop is on the way. See our web site off the page for current details of the program.

After the Workshop prep, George and I went for a walk. That was not really too wise. In India (at least in Delhi), everyone has an angle…they want to steer you to a particular shop, or a tour or something. And, they simply approach you on the street and say (something like) “Hello. Where are you from?” This is the beginning of a long conversation intended to direct you somewhere or sell you something. Regardless, it is very intrusive and you will (or we were) be approached multiple times by multiple people saying, “Hello. Where are you from?”. And, to rid yourself of the intrusion, you have to be pretty rude and say something like, “Sorry. My friend and I are talking.” For me this was a big problem which makes it very difficult (impossible) to simply walk about the city as a tourist. My experience in Delhi is limited to the area around the Lalit Hotel, so this problem may not be common across the city. We will be doing some additional touring later…I’ll report more then.

After our not very relaxing walk, we had a nice dinner with some of the IU group and then off to bed.

Tomorrow…more workshop logistics…

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