09
Feb
10

Welcome to India

Today I arrived in India after a couple extremely long flights. Long flights are no fun at all, but British Airways handled both legs of the flight and did a lot to make the flight as comfortable as they could. I don’t know who designed their seat controls though. The arms of the chairs are lower than the height of my thighs. So the controls are always pressed against my leg. And the tray table that is supposed to flip out of the armrest doesn’t flip down to a flat position because my legs are too thick. That was kind of a bummer.

On the flight from Heathrow to Delhi, the flight where I had hoped to catch up on my sleep, I was seated in the middle of 5 very enthusiastic boarding school roommates from Bath, England, who were leaving for a long tour of South and Southeast Asia. Luckily, their enthusiasm for booze knocked them unconscious after a couple hours of readings aloud from an India travel guide.

It took forever for the luggage to come down the baggage claim, and my flight was already delayed due to a medical emergency, so I arrived a few hours late to the cab stand. My driver was still there, fortunately, but I didn’t have any small denomination USD or any Rupee at all. Not his lucky day. There were machine guns in the airport. Kinda creepy, but I’d rather see them on the security guys than some random band of thugs. Security is tight at the hotel. I had to go through a metal detector/pat down and have my bags scanned before entering. The hotel is insanely beautiful. It feels like way too much fanfare. I cannot get used to being called Mr. Baker all the time. I was greeted by a concierge, a guy in a handlebar moustache and a turban (not sure what his role is, but he looks important) and a woman holding a bowl of flower petals ground into a paste who dabbed dot on my forehead. Now THAT’S what I’m talking about, India. Where can I get garlic naan and vindaloo chicken at 8:00am?

Checked into my room and didn’t know what to do first. Fire up a bunch of tweets? Charge my gear? Go to sleep? Eat something? Take a shower? I went to my window and figured out that I needed to take some photos. The sky is uniformly gray (AGAIN! WTF? Why can’t I leave Seattle weather behind?) but the scenery is just unusual enough to be worth photographing anyway. I spotted at least two different forms of deer-like animals in groups near a watering hole/wetland/swamp area behind the hotel. I switched back and forth  between lenses a half dozen times already. Wait, the big gray one might just be the male of the spec- HOLY SHIT IS THAT A PEACOCK? IT IS! BRB!

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