No translation, but lost anyway

So, I wrote this lovely little post back in Glasgow… then turned my PowerBook off before remembering to click ‘publish,’ and then the taxi arrived, and…

I’m in Delhi. Arrived at silly o’clock this morning (flight was fine, thanks – everyone asks, not sure what I’m supposed to say). Just had lunch with extremely pleasant High Commission people, now back at the terribly posh hotel. It’s obviously too hot to explore right now – obviously I’m an Englishman, but I think one has to be a mad dog as well for that.

Thus far, it’s all a bit… well… insulated. I’ve seen ox-drawn carts from a distance and the whole system is a bit alien, but I’ve not yet had the full-on Delhi crazy. Doubtless I’ll be completely baffled when I do.

All of which is, I suppose, testament to the miracle that is efficient five-star travel. Being met at the airport by a uniformed chauffeur with a shiny Mercedes will tend to cosset one from even which country one’s in. There are times – and perhaps this is one of them – when that’s an entirely sensible thing to do. It’s just that this world is also alien to me, and while it makes sense and works, I’m not sure I particularly like it.

But I think I’ll have a little sleep, now, and worry about all this later.


  1. I’ve just backtracked all the way to discover why you’re in India. What a great oportunity. If only the Ri hadn’t got rid of Bipin then they’d have someone who’d feel at home there. 😉

  2. I have to confess, my trip to India resulted in a very similar first impression. Mumbai-by-the-airport was like any other airport I’d ever been to, including hotel stylings and prices. Taking a taxi to the hotel (about 40 miles south), leaving that oasis of Western fakery and travelling through much poorer areas including what seemed nothing more than a shanty town, was a real eye-opener. And I’m a little ashamed to say unnerving to the point of extreme discomfort. I really wanted to go home at one point (hence the shame).
    But I got over it, with the help of my much less unnerved travelling companion, the good Dr Bartos. And after throwing ourselves into the middle of it (deepest Mumbai in the middle of rush-hour, shoulder-to-shoulder with tens of thousands of locals on foot, great fun) I felt much better.
    One word of advice: if you know any obscure foreign languages, brush up on them before tackling the tourist traps. Dr B was able to turn away the local, er, “sales people” by speaking nothing but Czech. As the next nearest white guy and speaking no foreign languages I made the easy fallback target. It was about then I discovered that it’s remarkably easy to fake Klingon…

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