Welcome to Delhi

I arrived in Delhi on Saturday after a 15 hour flight from Chicago. I don’t even want to do something I like for 15 hours, let alone spend it on a plane.

Fortunately, I was staying at the Radisson hotel near the airport, and someone from the hotel was waiting for me when I arrived. We walked out through clouds of diesel exhaust and honking car horns. All kinds of vehicles jam the streets, but amazingly enough, they seem to make progress.

What little I saw of Delhi had the look of “arrested destruction”. Near the airport, lots of half-completed road work projects. Piles of brick and rebar. Fallen columns. Two story buildings with the top floor torn off, like after an earthquake. They looked like rows of broken teeth. But the ground floors had working shops or businesses. Lots of traffic, lots of men lounging by the side of the road. And of course a cow standing calmly in the middle of a freeway on-ramp.

And yet, the system seems to work. I was able to get in and out of Delhi airport without much trouble. After spending an hour and 15 minutes a few days earlier just to get to the American Airlines check-in counter in San Francisco, I was surprised at how smoothly my flights went in India.

Next stop, Pune.

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