|We are finally taking a family vacation, all together, to India, to share it's magic and frustrations with Judson, but to also finally introduce him to Sheeja, whom we attempted to adopt back in the mid 1980's when they were both children. Sheeja is now married with three children, and we have been keeping in touch almost daily for the past several years via WhatsApp.
We left Home at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10th, flew to Vancouver, arriving at 7 p.m., waited until midnight for our 12 1/2 hour flight to Shanghai, where we arrived at their 5:30 a.m. the next day and had a 9 hour layover. We discovered that the China Eastern Airlines attendant had given Jud a boarding pass for the next leg of our trip with my name on it. Thanks to the Chinese immigration officer for noticing it when we tried to leave the airport for a hotel room I had booked. Of coarse when we got it corrected, Jud wasn't given the extra leg room we had paid for, and they moved my seat as well to sit with him, so I lost my aisle seat (neither of which we wanted), but we are thankful it was straightened out.
So it was adventurous to leave the airport, (no visa required if you are in transit for 24 hours), find a shuttle bus, get to the hotel, have an unusual breakfast (lotus root, eggs boiled in black tea, noodles, yam or pumpkin, churro-like non sweet pastries, peanuts, etc), shower, and try to get 3 hours sleep -- with 3 interruptions (Jud's cell, Brian freaking out about oversleeping, and a staff person knocking on the door to give assistance via a translating phone app). Caught another shuttle at noon, back to the airport and more security and immigration line ups for an hour. Made it on time thank goodness, and off for another 7 1/2 hours to New Delhi.
Fortunately we were met at 8:45 p.m. by a driver from our 2-3 star hotel, the Hotel Sunstar Residency, in the Karol Bagh District of Delhi. Friendly staff, A/C, large rooms, free breakfast. We spent the next day, Monday, Nov. 13th sporadically breathing the smoggy air through our face masks ( which thanks to Carole's insistence we purchased in Victoria, the day before we left). We dealt with SIM cards, getting adapter plug ins, and finding locations, before hiring a car and driver for $10 each to show us the sights for half a day.
We saw the LakshmiTemple, the Red Fort, Chandni Chowk Bazaar area, India Gate, the Parliament Buildings, Akbar's Road, the high quality art and jewels of Dilli Haat, the gate between Old and New Delhi, street life, and Jud experienced the traffic congestion of Delhi. We had to make several Kingfisher Beer stops before ending the day, and having the driver drop us off at a fancy restaurant with innovative drinks and a delicious menu for tasty and spicy food. It was buy two, get one free drinks so we tried several including the B M W 's which we used to celebrate our arrival, as those are Brian's initials. Walking home we wended our way for about 5 blocks and several conjested traffic circles. The jet lag and beverage consumption has Laid Brian out at 6:30 p.m. for the duration until we fly to Ranchi tomorrow.