At 10pm, 21st of July there was no turning back! Ruth, Pia and I were buckled into our seats of flight GE 22 ready to embark on our adventure in India. If we could survive the monotonous Indigo flight theme song, which went for a whole 30 seconds before repeating continuously for 40 minutes before take off, then we could endure anything!!
As the wheels touched down on the tarmac in Dehli we all had a spring in our step, probably because we couldn't wait to get out of audio range of the Indigo jingle they had once again put back on for landing.
By 4am with backpacks on and suitcases in hand we were greeted by many smiling Indian faces as we scanned the arrival gate for our welcome sign. Thankfully our driver was there to take us to our first destination... The Pearl Hotel
of Dehli! I'm not sure what car we expected but the teeny tiny Tata he pointed to us for transport was a cute surprise. There was absolutely no chance of our luggage fitting inside, but the interior design was splendid, with colorful decorations and lighting. Finally, with our luggage successfully strapped on to the roof, off we went. Our young driver took great pride in his car and he couldn't wait to impress us with his sound system and taste of India's Top 40 tunes. Ruth was very good at answering all his questions, but when we told him why we were in India, which was to drive a rickshaw, he laughed and replied with 'No, you drive a rickshaw?' as Ruth sweetly stated 'Yes, us!' ... 'No (head bobble)'... Yes, No... Yes!
Upon arrival we were greeted by the India I remember... Stray dogs yapping at cars, various souls sleeping in the dusty, rubbish filled streets and the neon lights of various hotels through the main drag, inviting you to stay the night. Our hotel looked good from the inside, but the aroma of 'wee wee' filling the lobby was a tad concerning... However, thankfully the choice in air freshener downstairs didn't apply to our hotel room. Phew!!!