Dear friends, it pleases me to be back home! We (my dear friend Kate and me) travelled about a fortnight ago from London (15 °C) via Oman (Muscat, 28°C) to India (Delhi, 35 °C). In Delhi we stayed for two days and finally we arrived in Bhutan (Paro, 21 °C) It was a stunning experience. I cannot tell the whole story in one blog. Bhutan is fascinating in so many ways! The people so unusual! Therefore you may find here everyday a little story for the coming period.
It all began in Delhi. As far as I was concerned, I would have travelled straight to Bhutan and skip India entirely, but we were advised to stay in Delhi for two days, for acclimatising, for a rest and for sightseeing. Oh well, I reluctantly gave in, let’s do a bit of Delhi then. But my premonition was right: as soon as we arrived in India, I lost the ground under my feet.
It all started rather innocent. Our plane landed, we went to the toilet. Here I changed my clothes. A pair of linen trousers, a singlet and a thin blouse. That felt so much better in this temperature of 35 °C! Then we walked through the jet bridge and arrived into this huge, spacious hall, with long walking escalators, corners to take, more escalators going down, eventually leading to the Indian Custom officials. We had to queue and wait. Then it was our turn. The Custom officer asked for our passports. Of course. I grabbed for my passport in my hip bag… in vain. I didn’t wear it. It was still in the toilet.
So we had to rush back, the long way back. At which gate did we arrive? We hadn’t noticed. And so many toilets, they all looked the same. We sped through the stretched corridor, toilet in, toilet out, but my hip bag was nowhere. I felt desperate. Here I was, in India, a strange continent, with no passport, no visa, no money, no credit card… OMG…
Luckily Kate stayed cool. Cora, we have to ask for help. While I kept hurrying around, she found someone in charge. We were told about these security camera’s everywhere, even in the toilets. More and more people gathered around us, workers, cleaners, what not, all talking in Hindi. We were invited to take place in a buggy, faster than walking. We moved again from washroom to washroom. Then I was summoned to walk into this specific one. Indoors I saw a smiling cleaning lady. And there lay my hip bag, on the same place as I had left it. I felt immensely relieved 🙂 Hugged the cleaning lady, and we paid the people.
But no, we were not done yet. Yes, Customs were fine now. But next we went to the baggage belt. Since our enterprise had taken so long, all the luggage activities were finished. Our suitcases! Where were our suitcases? We had to walk from A to B and back, and from B to C and back. We were told to wait… Finally, thank goodness, we found them. And finally we could leave the airport and look out for our contact person. Who, bless him, had kept waiting for us. We were taken to our hotel.