From the two hour bus ride from Marquette to Chicago O’Hare, seven hour flight from there to Amsterdam, a four hour layover, then a sixand a halfhour flight from Amsterdam to New Delhi, where we had a six hour layover. Here we slept on benches after immigration and customs and then checked in. Carole and Dr. Byers (Dr. B) were shocked to see how nice the New Delhi airport was. They had only described it as a chaotic place, with little order and a sketchy ride from the international to the domestic flight departure gates. However, much to their surprise they landed at the fourth-best airport in the world. The two had not been in India for two years with the program and were shocked, Dr. B had to take a few photos for Dr. Thorn who was unable to attend the trip due to family affairs. The airport is really like a mall, after our three-hour nap session we dashed for our spot in line at check-in, Dr. B was almost run over by another anxious older fellow, and shortly there after witnessed the new and improved New Delhi airport. I declared the students and myself their “lucky charms.”
With shops like Swarovski, a worldwide crystal manufacturer, and Mango, a women’s fashion store that originated in Spain, and food court to match the expensive look and hip aesthetic of the airport there was logically no other choice than to go to the McDonald’s where they serve only chicken and fish, beef is not allowed due to the Hindu beliefs. Everyone seemed a tad skeptical about the McDonald’s but Jenny and I were all for it and soon enough two others joined in and another took a jaunt to Subway.
After our quick bite to eat we headed to the gate where we boarded buses that took us to our plane. The fog is incredibly thick here. You can’t see fifteen feet in front of you, so on that note I must say, I write this to you first in a word document in the now two hour delay on the tarmac of the airport because of the fog. Currently the visibility is at 50 meters, and in order to fly the plane the pilot has to see at least 150 meters in front of him. A man Chris and I met on the plane I currently sit on said that this happened ten days ago and the passengers ended up waiting six hours until they took off. I’ll let you know if we wait that long. He also said that it is all politics when it comes to staying on the plane or being let off, “The flight crew really decided what they want to do, and the people who give the pilots clearance to fly.” Boy oh boydo I not want to wait six hours and do I not want to deal with Indian politics on eight hours of sleep while traveling for over 30 hours….
Even though we are all on our second or third wind we’re in high spirits. All of us seem to have happily gabbed with each other and passengers on the former and current flight and are simply just anxious to get there. I, personally, want to e-mail my mother to calm her nerves (because I know she is internally freaking out though she won’t say so) and a few friends to say I’m in Ahmedabad, India and then be let go to explore! No napping for the six of us, we’re arriving at a questionable time today, Dec. 30th, and will stay up until it is time for bed. It is the only way to adjust to the time difference in a timely manner.