The day started with Daphne’s neighbor bringing me breakfast and a handwritten copy of one of his best recipes for my cookbook. The town car was there right on time to take me to the airport. What a world traveler! (He gave me all kinds of suggestions for my visit in Japan.) While waiting in line to flight from Amsterdam to New Dehli, I began talking with a young lady….FROM ATLANTA! She and her husband own Cafe Bombay near Emory University! She was going home for two weeks. A college student heard us and joined the conversation. He attends UNL and was traveling home to visit his parents for a month. They are language teachers in New Dehli. His seat assignment was across the aisle, but switched to the window side. It was crazy how many different things we had in common.
I was able to watch Due Date, Gnomeo and Juliet, and an episode of Modern Family on my 6 hour flight because on the back of the seats in front of you is a personal screen. The food was interesting. I couldn’t figure out what the chicken sauce was supposed to taste like…was it barbeque? probably not. Was it Asian? Maybe, but what was that spice?
We arrived early, got the baggage without incident and I met Chris’s parents and brother. The airport is new and very clean and artistic. Then I found my taxi driver with his yellow sign and my name. It was an interesting introduction to the traffic “flow?” in India.
Bethany made reservations for me to stay at the Ginger Hotel next to the train station. I would take the train to Dehradun. I thought by taxi….more about that in tomorrow’s post. (I am in Bethany’s office on Day 18 in the music building listening to many different instruments playing in the practice rooms.) The driver drove by the station to show me where I would go the next morning. He helped me get checked into the hotel….I requested a wake up call at 6:00AM (It was already 1:00AM) “oh, is there internet,” I asked when I spied the booth with a sign for the net. “It is not working right now.” Sad.
I found the elevator, made it to the 6th floor, used the card to open my door and then the challenge hit me. I COULD NOT figure out how to turn on the light!!! Or any light. In all my attempts, I also managed to turn OFF the airconditioner! Now, I know I’m not in the Western world anymore, for sure. In the dark, I was rubbing all the walls, trying to find a switch and when I did, it did not work. Then, on top of that, ALL the lights went out and I couldn’t tell if I didn’t know what I was doing or was it just my room or were other rooms out???? Yes, other rooms were out. O.K. I’ll be an adult and solve this. I went down to the desk, they gave me a funny look and sent “the repairman” with up to the room. So, what I learned (for anyone else going to India): you have to slide your key card in a little place on the wall near the light switches (it looks a lot like the place on the door for the key card). Leave it in there and then flip the flat pads to red to turn them on. Oh, an the television did work, however the show selection was, well, …no comment.