Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Internet access from the hotel in Hanoi was not great so there has been a bit of a gap. I'll try to describe arriving in India. At just after midnight it was 34 degrees in Mumbai. For some reason I'd spent about 6 hours at the airport in Hong Kong. The cabin of the Cathay Pacfic plane to Mumbai was a cacophany of noise - that was the first feeling of being in India. Big family groups with lots of well-dressed children and a bun-fight to get luggages into the overhead lockers. One old man shouting out something that sounded like "Bugger! Bugger!" over and over. Maybe that's the name of his wife?

Collecting baggage was the next indoctrination. I was determined not to just up my spot by the conveyor belt, and as more and more people crowded in behind and beside me I hung on to my spot - only problem being it was impossible to see what was coming along. I was bumped and jostled and held fast against the shouting in my ears and face... Lots of officials directing people through Customs "Madam you stand behind the yellow line at number 32". Outside the terminal a sea of signs being held up but my name was nowhere to be seem. A tall curly-haired handsome man simply held a sign saying "Babe". I'd have gladly gone with him, but I don't think he meant me. I did find someone from the right Hotel who used his mobile phone and told me to take taxi.

Off I went bouncing about in the back of some beat-up vehicle with a man who seemed not speak english. We hurtled through miles of grungy poorly-lit back streets and I lost count of how many bundles of rags we passed. People sleeping on footpaths, against walls, in the centre strip of the road even. Some with scraps of laundry hung out. We stopped twice presumably asking directions. There was a lively market with gas lights and boys running around dragging goats on leads. I saw several large cows wandering about. Total urban decay, everywhere.

I made it down to breakfast this morning but had to make a quick retreat from the food smells. Spent the morning back in bed. I have been on a walk around the block and bought a copy of Indian Vogue for the equivalant of about $3 Aust dollars. It is hot out there and I'm feeling very weak today. That's OK. Enough for now.

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