India – Day One: Delhi

I haven’t mentioned this on my blog (though everyone I know has heard about this for months) but I decided to take a trip to India! And since so many people have asked me to keep them up-to-date on my trip, I thought the easiest thing to do would be to keep a diary via my blog.

Here we go….

I don’t ever remember traveling by plane where I left one one day and arrived two days later, but that’s what happened. I departed on February 3rd and arrived on the 5th! Course the 11-1/2 hour time difference and the fact that I took off from Chicago in the evening and landed in Delhi at 2:30 am also added to the appearance of a very long trip. Still, door-to-door it was about 26 hours…..

I flew on Emirates – Chicago to Dubai, Dubai to Delhi. I never thought I’d get the chance to fly on Emirates, which is supposed to be one of the best airlines in the world. I will say, the plane to Dubai was pretty fancy. The plane to Delhi was an older version and definitely not as nice. If I hadn’t flown business class I don’t know how I, a plus-sized woman, could have possibly handled the flight. Even in business class it wasn’t comfortable enough to sleep.

I read recently that the best way to get better service on planes is to bring your flight attendant(s) a treat so I brought a small package of Betty Jane’s Gremlins (the best candy in the world) and gave them to my lovely attendant. Honestly, I think she would have been as sweet and helpful even if I hadn’t given her a gift, but she seemed sincerely delighted that I brought them for her. She told me at the end of the trip that she had kept them all for herself and eaten the entire package over the course of the trip! And boy, she did dote on me. I tried to help the guy next to me and say that they were from him too but he was not the friendliest guy. Reap what you sow baby! And my flight attendant was French, she knew the best wines to recommend! Fantastique!

My favorite thing about the plane (to Dubai) was the stars on the ceiling while we were (supposed to be) sleeping…

I was met at the gate in Delhi by a very helpful woman from the tour company who got me through immigration. Since I was so tired (more accurately spacey, ) I can’t say enough how grateful I was to have her assistance.

Despite my haze, I noticed right away the amazing sculptures above the immigration area. You really can’t miss them as you come down the escalators. GORGEOUS They are called mudras and here is what they mean.

SO tired. By the time I checked in at my hotel (had a cup of tea) and got to sleep it was 5 am.

The tour company left me a couple gifts including a wonderful little dancing Ganesha.

I learned the story of Ganesha from reading this collection of myths and legends by Madhur Jeffrey (one of my favorite people in the whole world.) I’m so lucky to have a beautiful, large hardcover version of the book – sadly it’s out of print, at least in the US – but you can still get a small paperback version. Or you can always see what they have at the library!

For some strange reason I only slept for three hours. I made arrangements to have a wake-up call for 11 am the night before. I wanted to make sure I didn’t sleep the entire day away and to try to get onto this time zone. Guess I didn’t need it. BUT I forgot for a bit and was just finishing up in the shower when the front desk called. Apparently they were worried because at about 11:10 there was a knock on the door. As I scrambled to finish dressing another knock. I answered to find three very worried looking people standing there. They said that they were concerned when I didn’t answer my wake up call. I felt badly to have caused them trouble but at the same time, boy do I feel safe!

I went to the concierge to ask where I could get some postcards because for once I’m going to be gone long enough that maybe people will get them before I get home. Maybe. She said the hotel will provide them. I said – are you sure, I need about 15. They’ll be waiting in your room. Fancy schmancy. (And they were on the desk when I came back from lunch.)

A few photos of the interior of the hotel…

This is one part of the ceiling in the lobby.

Lunch was AMAZING. I had Mulligatawny Soup with rice (they are giving me the recipe!) and spiced paneer in egg paratha. Plus – chaaaaaaaiiiiiiiii! I’m in HEAVEN!

Now I’m back in my room writing postcards, reading “The City of Djinn” (it’s delightful!), looking at an incredible view, and thinking about a nap. Having dinner this evening with my first group of travel mates.

Hopefully I won’t fall asleep in my soup (wouldn’t be the first time…)

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  1. confessionsofaruminatingfreak

    This is awesome ….. welcome to india, i hope you had a wonderful holiday.

  2. Melissa

    This is wonderful! I’m glad you are safe and I love that I can follow your journey! Xoxo can’t wait to hear more from your voyage and see photos!! Miss you already!

    • jenniestoltz

      I miss you too! Having so much fun and being able to write up these blogs will not only help me document my journey but it’s like you are here with me!

  3. Angela Gulick

    I am so excited for you and for this adventure. Are you part of a larger tour group or are you there on your own? God, I admire your guts if you’re there on your own. I’ve never really taken a vacation on my own anywhere. I loved reading your blog and seeing all the beautiful sites you get to experience firsthand. And thanks for the tip about traveling. I had no idea that Betty Jane gremlins could be so powerful on an international scale.

    • jenniestoltz

      Stasie, Betty Jane Gremlins are an incredible tool. They could stop wars. Most people don’t realize their true power.
      I’m not traveling alone. Although I have traveled on my own, admittedly mostly to the UK, I don’t think I would be brave enough to venture out in a country when the customs are so different. Even in a country that I know so much about. This trip came about because I agreed to go on a tour with a couple friends of mine. That is actually the second tour that starts mid-month. But I didn’t want to come all this way just for a 12-day trip so I spoke with the tour guide and she actually pulled together a 7-woman tour of the exact area I was interested in spending time. So we are doing another tour for about 10 days before – two tours back-to-back (technically they overlap but Regine, the tour guide, and I are cutting out a few days early to come back to New Delhi to meet the second tour group.)

  4. Cindy Figgatt

    Hi Jenny, I’m so glad I discovered your blog! Your writing is entertaining and informative. How long will you be gone?

    • jenniestoltz

      Hi Cindy! I’m glad you are enjoying it. I’ll be here for about 3-1/2 weeks. I’m hoping to have time for another entry today.

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