I’ve booked an afternoon flight to Delhi to cheat the fog. Of course, once fog disrupts flights in the morning, they stay disrupted through the day. By the time I get to the airport at 1.30, the 2.30 flight’s been rescheduled for 3.30. That is moved to 4.15, then 5pm. I sit in the overcrowded hall regretting leaving my iPod at home. On one side, a woman with a Xena: Warrior Princess hairdo and IndoBrit accent speaks incessantly to her two companions, who sometimes speak as well, but fail to break Xena’s rhythm. There are bits of quaint Gujarati in the conversation. London via East Africa via Gujarat is my guess, and now back to see relatives who never left.
I move to the Café Coffee Day having nothing better to do, and sit sipping a dire Latte. The flight, on Jet Connect, leaves the tarmac at exactly 6pm. I’m hungry, so I buy a ghastly chicken junglee sandwich for 150 rupees. The man sitting next to me is very friendly; unfortunately he has foul breath. I try to smile and nod through the mephitic vapours wafting in my direction every time he exhales. On the plus side the baby two rows down doesn’t make a sound the entire trip.
No congestion in Delhi, the pilot said when we took off. By the time we reach the capital, there’s plenty of congestion. We spread aviation fuel fumes in the capital’s air for twenty minutes before being permitted to descend. I take a battered Omni to my hotel. All the Omnis being used as taxis are battered. I wonder how they got battered so fast, there were few on the street the last time I was here.
My hotel’s reasonably clean, and it has wifi. It barely works, but I refresh repeatedly and finally manage to post this.