Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Delhi III

After leaving Ajmer we had to spend a few more days in New Delhi getting our Thailand visas together. Our hotel was happy to see us again and everyone gave us friendly, enthusiastic greetings. We also found out that the hotel has wireless. Since when, we do not know. They didn't have any working wireless internet when we checked in the first time! Better late than never though, right? So we were able to look up all our hotel and visa info for Thailand up in the comfort of our little room. We booked our plane tickets and made reservations at the cheapest and most decent looking place we could find, then printed out the visa applications. We tuk-tuked to the visa headquarters where the bored security guard seemed to think we were hardly any threat and let us through. We dropped our applications and passports off and that was that. A few days later - surprise! We had Thailand visas! Yay! It's always nice when things go according to plan.

As for interesting things that happened while we were there... Let's see... When we went to the bank to replenish our money supply we had to go through the usual little security point. The lady-guard checks ladies' belongings and the man-guard checks the men's. She glanced in my bag and nodded "Okay," but before I walked off she gave me a curious smile, looked at my lip ring while motioning to her lip and said "No problem?" I smiled back and said "No, no problem." Then I pointed at my nose and looked at her nose ring and said "No problem?" She just laughed. I thought it was pretty funny. We encountered the most aggressive beggars yet near our hotel one day. They were about 5 to 7 years old and dirty as a pig pen. They chat-chat-chat at you and follow behind you pulling on your clothing and hands or arms - anything they can tug. Of course, telling them "No" does not work. One of the kids followed us into our hotel, still on our heels and asking for money as we started up the stairs! As soon as the hotel staff figured out that we weren't actually trying to lure beggar children to our bedroom they quickly shooed him back outside. On another day we got to experience the post office. I had gotten a few Christmas-like presents for my family and I was long past due on sending them home. Once we found the post office we were directed to a place on the complete other side of the building to get a box for our stuff. It was just a little corner-shop that sold random things, but one of the random things was old boxes that they had received their goods in. I was very happy to be using recycled packaging! They packed all my stuff in it and taped down all the edges, then we headed back to the post office where we were once again directed somewhere else to have the box "stitched." This part was very cool - a guy took our box and wrapped a big piece of beige fabric around it and proceeded to stitch up all the edges using some thick thread and a huge needle. He was quite fast and was done in less than 10 minutes. And the package looked so cool! It kinda looked like an actual present now! Then I wrote the address directly on the fabric with black permanent marker, glued a packing slip to the back, and sent it on its merry way. I thought it was a fun way to package something. That's about it for what we did while we were in Delhi. We mostly relaxed and got a few things done.

On the 17th we check out of the hotel and taxied to the airport to catch our flight to Thailand. Getting in the airport turned out to be a pain because we hadn't printed our tickets out before hand. We were sent to about four different offices and buildings before someone managed to pull our info up on an incredibly ancient computer and print us a little ticket slip. Of course, once in the airport we still had to stand in line to get our actual tickets and we still had to go through security. I don't know why they don't just let people in the airport. Whatever. It wasn't until this point that I suddenly realized I didn't have my bangles. In a slow wave of growing sadness I realized I had left them on the bureau back at the hotel. There was no way we could go back and get them. They were lost! I had spent so much time and effort in looking for just the right bangles only to leave them in a newspaper-wrapped tube on the dresser. I was so completely disappointed! But we boarded our plane and the closer we got to Thailand the less upset I became. Bangkok, here we come!

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