Welcome to India
December 18th, 8 PM
The new terminal which was still a mess last year, is wonderful…can compete with any other international airport terminal….everything went smoothly from the time I left home, including the taxi ride-the driver had no change, only a 100 NIS bill, and I only had a 200 NIS bill, so instead of paying 120 plus a tip I would have given him, the whole thing cost me 100 NIS. Then in the airport, waiting on line to check-in, I met an American man and we began talking…long story short-we went to the same junior high school in bellerose- PS 172, Hillside Junior High, and we even remembered the name of the principal – Mary M. Mullins (can’t remember things I did this morning, but THAT I remember!)
The flights were lovely, window seat with only one person next to me. He was a lovely young Indian guy going home to visit his family in Bihar. He recently finished his studies and works for L’Oreal in Paris!. He is one of those stories of the new generation, whose poor families work themselves very hard to send one of their sons to University and hopefully abroad for further studies so that they can improve their own lives. Then this son, can then send money home for the other kids to go to University as well, which is exactly what he does, and still lives a good life in Paris.
Everything went well until I got out of the terminal and didn’t find my taxi. Waited awhile thinking he might just be a little late, but finally, a 6 AM called the guy who ordered it for me, and he said he should be there, but I definitely didn’t see him.
Only after did I realize that there were more drivers with signs waiting further outside of the terminal building, and there I found him. The new terminal is wonderful. Everything is underground including the long walk to the parking area, which used to be a very long, and cold walk outdoors. When we got to the car, there was a flat tire! So he fixed that…then there was a terrible noise when the car drove and for the first ½ of the journey he had to drive very slowly, never exceeding 50 (first time I ever complained of an Indian driver going too SLOW). We finally got near the rest stop which is about half way to rishikesh, but it had already taken us much longer than usual, and really had to pee. He decided to stop and fix what was wrong with the car (only then did he tell me he had some problem with the steering (!) and that’s why he was going so slowly!!. I said NO, PLEASE, I need a toilet. So he first dropped me at the rest stop and then went back to fix the car. I had a nice breakfast, took some pictures, and he was back for me, with the car all fixed, and the rest of the way he was the usual Indian madman on the road, although basically a good driver.
I slept on and off the whole way, still not feeling quite well from a recent allergy attack, as well as being tired from the journey. In the end, it took 8 hours instead of 5-6 hours that it usually takes!.
But I got to my room, everything was clean and ready (but, not surprisingly, the shower doesn’t work and will hopefully be repaired in a day or so). There are some redone rooms here but I am not interested in them for various reasons, and will just be patient and wait for this room to be perfect. I did pretty well in getting my stuff set up, although not my clothes yet and am now in bed, with a hot water bottle at my feet, feeling all cozy and warm (the room is actually warmer than my room home in Israel)…I am exhausted, not completely well, but very content and grateful.
Saw my good friend Seema for a chat, the guys here at the guesthouse and in short, feel as if I never left.
Going to sleep early and hopefully will continue with my organizing in the morning when I imagine I will feel much better.
December 19, 2010 11 am
Slept well during the night, despite headcold (allergy) and cough….awoke to sunshine streaming in through my window, and, of course, NO WATER! But I had filled a ocuple of buckets before going to sleep so until the water came (5 minutes after reporting that there wasn’t any), I had what I needed to begin the day.
But, as usual, the shower does not work and this morning the “big boss” was here. Let’s see if this year they will actually change the old boiler instead of trying continually to fix it.
So not hot shower but the sunshine up on the roof certainly made up for it.
Had my breakfast and now am deciding if I have enough energy to continue fixing up the room (which is pretty much in order already but need my stuff from my friend’s house- mostly clothing, and then need to do a big shopping for things I need for cooking, as well as other minor things which need to be replaced this year)
I am feeling good, but still tired…but that is to be expected. Really feel like going out to visit friends etc., but think I will give it another day or so. Also need to get to the internet, but have no great urge to do that either.
Will end now just to get this poasted…