November 2, 2010
Today I got up at 4:30 to meet Jette and Kjeld at the airport. The plane was due at 6:30 AM, but was half an hour late. I sat dying of thirst and bought myself a coke. Then I sat with a young girl, who told me she wanted to see the world as an airline hostess. I set her straight on that, explaining she would never see the world, because when she arrives at her destination, she is too tired to site see and sleeps until the next day when she is expected to return. On top of that she is really a high class waitress. Of course, there are the times when a hostess uses her education to help save people under crisis situations, but they are few and far between. The main job is to serve people food and listen to her complaints. No, this is not something to spend your youth wishing for.
At 8:30 Jette and Kjeld came out of customs. I was very happy to see them, because I had been alone for three days, with only a few hours to see Mohini and Rama at the Senior Center. I had always stayed with Mohini before the move. And though we disagreed occasionally, it was a home away from home. After a day out in Delhi traffic, I could return to a nice meal and conversation.
Jette and Kjeld didn’t even look tired. So I called Ramchandra, the driver lent to us by KB, and he brought the car to take us back to the hotel. We decided to have breakfast, go out for a walk and then see. Breakfast is included in the cost of the room, so we ate well and then walked to the Barista for a decent coffee. Luckily I had sought out the coffee shop a couple of days previous, so I knew where to go.
Walking in India is a bit of a challenge. You are accosted by touts, doing everything but drag you to a shop where they get commissions, by three wheeler drivers, promising you a grand tour for nothing and beggars, a number of which have become entrepreneurs selling newspapers, magazines and various other things.
We arrived at the Barista, had a wonderful coffee and talked. Then off to the ATM, where I realized I hadn’t told the bank I was traveling, and they had blocked the money. Oh well, that can be remedied. Off to Thomas Cook, where Jette and Kjeld wanted to change money. I showed them how to check for a counterfeit note, because I had been caught a couple of times with one.
We had lunch and settled in for a short nap. After two hours, they were ready to go again. I suggested we take a three wheeler to Old Delhi. It was hilarious. The scooter zips in and out of traffic, Kjeld and Jette giggling like two teenagers. When Jette had said to her son that she was worried about getting a disease in India, he told her that once in traffic she will lose that fear. And so it happened. You can’t understand it until you’ve been there. It was such fun for me, watching them watch the traffic. I am getting jaded.