The second leg of our journey began around 1pm Amsterdam time. I was able to get about an hour’s worth of sleep by blasting white noise through my headphones and using the tray table as a headrest. Needless to say, after nearly 24 hours of traveling, we were all super stiff and sore… but extremely excited to have finally arrived in Delhi!
Our hotel sent a car, and the driver was waiting for us as we exited the baggage area. Rupak was highly amused that the driver’s sign read “Ms. Priya K Das” instead of “Mr.”
After meeting the driver and walking outside, we were greeted by the Mitra family. Rupak and I had no idea they were meeting us at the airport! I was embarrassed by how disheveled I must have looked after 24 hours of traveling, but we were thrilled to see our cousins and family nonetheless.
The driver pulled the car around and loaded it up with all of our luggage… unfortunately, since we had packed so much, there were only three seats left in the vehicle for four people. (Dad, you might want to stop reading here, haha.) Rupak and I shared a seat that had no seat belt. Then I was introduced to the absolute and utter craziness that is India driving. I don’t have any video of my first car trip in India, but it’s probably a good thing, since I’m pretty sure it would be nothing but gasping and screaming and yelling the whole way. The painted lines on the road mean nothing to Indian drivers. Our driver didn’t even slow down for red lights! When I asked him about it, his response was, “It’s 2 am, red light is optional!” I’m pretty sure that’s not true.
Amazingly, we arrived safe and sound at our hotel, the beautiful Svelte Hotel in Delhi. The Mitra family met us again in our hotel room, and we had snacks and drinks until the early hours of the morning, when we finally passed out for a few glorious hours of sleep.
Tomorrow the real fun begins!