Hey y'all. All safe and sound in India. My flights were uneventful and while long, not too painful - business class is a beautiful thing! One of the guys from my Duke class was on the Heathrow to Delhi leg, and it was fun to catch up with him. The New Zealand All Blacks were on the O'Hare to Heathrow leg, but other than admiring their hotness at the check in counter, I didn't get to talk with any of them.
Got into Delhi a little after 12:30am, but it took two hours to deplane, clear immigration, hit the ATM and get a taxi to the hotel. The hotel is a bit of a fortress - cars get checked outside the gate, and they scan you and your baggage every time you come and go. I have not seen much of the city other than immediately around the hotel yet. There is an incredible level of smog. Apparently farmers in the north are burning rice paddies, and it has made a huge mess. The air is so bad that they've told everyone who can work from home to do so, and the major power plant has been shut down for 10 days. You can even see the smoke inside the hotel lobby and in the airport. It is worse than China was. They've run out of masks and it is hard to be outside. I took one little field trip to the mall next to the hotel, but was glad to get back here. It will be interesting to see how that impacts the touring activities. Yet another use for a CSS bandana - air filtration mask!
Other than that outing to the mall, I haven't done anything today. Slept from 3am-11. Ate lunch in the hotel and it was pretty tasty - lamb chunks with lentils and rice. They had "Continental" food like pizzas and sandwiches, but my experience has been you are better off with what they do well. And it will surprise no one that I have a bag full of snacks just in case!! Meeting the group in the lobby at 6pm. We are 11.5 hours ahead of east coast time now. My roommate hasn't shown up yet, so nothing to report on her.
Somebody from work said that maybe I could skip the news of Tuesday's election, but it is all in the media here too. There was an interesting article in the Indian paper this morning about how Iran televised the 3 presidential debates live as an example to their people of what is wrong with America. ;-) Still, while it is true that we have a crazy system, this smoke thing reminds me of the parts that do work, like required burning permits!
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