17 August 2008

Moved in... sort of


I don't even know where to begin, but I'm sick so this is going to be 12 pages shorter than it should be.

15 August is Independence Day in India. I got my luggage back after two hours of paperwork, waiting in lines, and running around Delhi International Airport. Let me give you a sample of the level of bureaucracy in India. First, someone called Jesse about my luggage and told us to come to the airport to pick it up. No one was at the office, but we eventually got someone there who explained the first part of the process of getting my luggage back. It was a basic three step process, but each step had 50 sub-steps. The first part involved going to the Terminal Manager's Office. Okay, so here's the sample: I first had to have my baggage claim card approved by an inspector. Then, that inspector had to sign off on the card which allowed the manager to inspect it. Upon the manager's inspection, he signed off on the card which approved the first inspector to give me a day pass which allowed me to enter the airport. I signed it, and took it to the manager for final inspection. I then signed it again and, finally, the manager signed off and I was able to enter the airport.

Jesse and me at the clubAnyway, Jesse showed me a good time in Delhi. Let me just say again, India is weird in that money is not invested on outside appearance. All the money a company spends is spent on the interior. So, there can be a five-star restaurant right in the middle of a slum. You just have to walk through an alley or two and up a few flights of narrow stairs before you get there.

After staying out until 5:30, we woke up at 9 to catch our flight to Goa. Goa is lovely, but it's not like the pictures on Wikipedia. There is still poverty in abundance. Stray dogs, pigs, and cows roam the streets and people can be found sleeping in the dirt off the sides of smaller roads. We were able to get a cheeseburger for Rs 400 (about $10) at the Marriott resort. Later, Tony would show us where we could get an even better steak dinner for just Rs 220. 

We went out again on Saturday 16 August. This time we walked for a couple of miles looking for food before finally giving up and headed to a fashion show. Judging by the look of the surrounding area and the path we took, I thought this was going to be a joke, but sure enough it was a full on fashion show and post-party. This is going to be quite the adventure indeed.

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