Scared and Smelly, My stay in New Delhi

From time to time, without any forewarning, a dream vacation can turn into a nightmare, with unexpected obstacles popping up endlessly. However, with a little bit of luck and careful planning, one can avoid those pesky obstacles that hamper the much needed get away. Unfortunately, luck and yours truly go together like chili powder and oatmeal.

In 2008, my best friend and I arrived at New Delhi airport. We were due to stay at a neighboring hotel so we could easily catch a connecting flight the next morning. However, we were told that leaving the airport was not an option as two people had just been murdered in the vicinity. The powers that be at the airport demanded we hand over our passports. We reluctantly complied, and quickly proceeded to find a place so we could “settle” down for the night. However, to say this place was a junkyard would be too kind, we were surrounded by dirty floors and filthy walls, with diseased looking cats circling us whenever we sat down. I told Frank, my friend, that I was going to check out the “goodies” they had for sale in the shops. I say shops, but sour milk and cigarettes seemed to be about the only products available. The standing ashtrays situated around the airport were being utilized vigorously. However, they were not being used for the disposal of cigarette butts, oh no, they were being used to accumulate spit from around sixty men (My counting was interrupted by a diseased cat purring at my feet). Whenever a man seemed to walk by an ashtray, it seemed perfectly normal to cough and deliver a large quantity of phlegm into an ashtray. Not to fear, because occasionally a cleaner walked around and emptied the phlegm into a bucket. Charming! I felt sick, I needed the bathroom. A millisecond after going in, I ran back out. Not only had someone left a little present on the toilet seat, but they then decided to spread excrement on the adjacent wall. Morning could not come soon enough.

After a night consisting of unnerving powernaps, I was awoken by an unexpected alarm clock, a sickly looking cat licking my face. I shook Frank, ran to grab us a bottle of water, and then queued for the flight.Operation “Get the Hell out of Here” was almost upon us. As all the passengers formed an orderly queue, we witnessed an airport employee screaming at a young American boy, for reasons unknown. The man was irate; promising the misfortune of a thousand deaths upon the young boy. This poor kid looked to be about eight years old, and judging by the vacant expression on his face, could not comprehend this garish threat. Needless to say, it was, as you can imagine, quite a relief to board the plane. I am currently planning my next holiday; however, I don’t think I’ll be revisiting New Delhi any time soon.

J Glynn

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