June 30, 2010
Dear Mum, Dad and Mandla,
What fun it was to see all of you on Sunday in New York! Mandla, The Ugly Sweaters looked and sounded great! Smile. And how lovely to get to spend brunch and dinner with you at Jon’s place. Smile. Packing and so forth all got done with no problems. Jon and I were a bit late in getting to bed. And we actually overslept by enough to have a mad dash to the airport yesterday morning. But we made it in time to get to our gate with a few minutes before boarding time. Talk about adrenaline rush, though. The flight from NYC to London was absolutely painless – about 6 hours long. Then we had a little time in the London airport. Just enough to see that Brazil was creaming Chile in the World Cup game today. Then our flight from London to Delhi – also absolutely painless. all in all about 14 hours in the air and 2 in the airport in London. Really easy.
I was a little nervous as we touched down here in Delhi, but everything has been fairly smooth and easy thus far. We got to the neighborhood in which we’re staying very cheaply. We searched around for a hotel for a little while, the big excitement being shown a room and seeing a rat run across the pillows of the bed. Needless to say, we did not stay there. Our next big adventure of the day has been getting train tickets to travel to Gorakpur, which is the border town with Nepal. We took a bicycle rikshaw to the train station to find that we could have just as easily walked and then were told all sorts of different things about not being able to buy a ticket and then pointed to a travel agency type place. There the guy looked into tickets for us, told us they would be rs500 each but then he said that there were no tickets available at all for several days and he suggested that we take a bus through a different border town. We said no thanks, we wanted to see what other options there were and went back to the train station where we were finally directed to the tourist bureau for the station where we painlessly booked sleeper class tickets on tomorrow’s train to Gorakpur for rs312 each. You gotta love it.
It’s hot and sticky. Sounds like they haven’t had any rain yet. tomorrow we leave at 8:25pm and I think we’ll plan to go and see things like the Bahai Lotus temple. It should be fun. It feels good to be here. Really good. And fun to be here with Jon.
Anyway, I’m thinking of the three of you. Mandla, you’ll have to let me know when you hear anything about the Battle of the Bands results. Mum and dad, I look forward to seeing you in September.