Very uneventful trip – which I think is a good thing given the state of the world, September 11 anniversary and the region I flew over. My recap:

  • Hard departure, after a few days of just organization, reminders that I won’t be here and lots of notes and PostIts everywhere. It finally became very real when I hugged the midgets and got in a car – very emotional Lucas, a bit less concerned Max and Mia who probably thought I am going grocery shopping (a month, what? how many nights?) and hardly got off their swing. Pretty emotional mess “me” in a car. B drove me and I was so grateful for the hour alone with him and hugs…
  • Flights – in short… economy comfort is worth it, KLM gate agents went far to accommodate their screw ups, very quick layover, effective Ambien. Oh – and watching Fifty Shades of Grey with 2 seventy-something Indian sari-clothed ladies on my sides is a bit strange. Their eyes were going from me to the screen and back and lots of various looks.
  • Delhi airport – surprisingly very fast, was out in 10 mins post immigration and with luggage.
  • Taxi – well, this is where reality hit… I refused a $75 BMW ride from the hotel for 6 kms – and was rethinking it as I hit the laundry-hot Delhi at 2 am. I went to the pre-paid taxi station which had a very rustic police sign, got a piece of paper with a scribble on it, paid 500 rupees and now what? Apparently walk to a line of old cars with lots of young men around, all eager to help (for bakshish as I suspected). 3 of them put my suitcase in the first car and I was pretty sure I would never see it again… Max’s Lego cars were glued together better than this taxi, no seatbelt, no English speaking driver, no idea where he was supposed to go – sigh – I was getting a bit nervous – is this supposed to be the formal airport system? All the stories of single women travellers in India came to my head ….but after a few Westin Westin Westin Gurgaon Gurgaon reiterations, we were on our way. If he was to get off the highway into some small alley, I started emergency planning and holding my phone tight. I was a bit mad at myself – first for being in a taxi alone with a strange  man (but there are no women drivers and I went thru the formal airport taxi system (guaranteed by police 🙂  Second, for having these negative thoughts that something bad will happen… was I questioning everyone? Anyway – it was perfectly fine, I got to the hotel, he was very polite……
  • Hotel Westin – 3 security checkpoints before we even got to the reception, so safe for sure. Superb service, great English speaking staff, gorgeous rooms with very modern bathrooms, heavenly beds, free wifi – what else can you ask for? I just wanted bed and shower….and quarter of Ambien to sleep.
  • Breakfast – kids would adore it – Chinese, Indian, continental – of course I went full Indian…even the waiter commented that I must like Indian food when I ordered paratha that was not in the buffet.

Today  I am recharging, getting sleep, reading and studying for my project and recovering from jet lag. Tomorrow, off to Allahabad ! #ibmscc #scchallenge

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