There is one thing about myself that I am very proud of, and that is my spirit of independence. There is one thing about me that is my tragic flaw, and that is my need to be independent. My first day in Delhi was suppose to be as easy as possible, thanks to the willingness of a local resident (son of a Taos friend) to find me a comfortable hotel in a comfortable neighborhood, and to pick my up from the airport. Would I allow this to happen, of course not, it all looked so manageable from the outside.
The hotel I booked on the Internet was close to the airport, and I thought to relieve Jai of such a lenghthy effort to come and take me there. Rather, I procured a pre-paid taxi from the arrivals hall. When I first saw the age of the driver, I had my first moment of doubt. He claimed to know the location of this hotel, but it quickly proved untrue. Before I knew it we were plying the back roads of some very unappealing district, finding ourselves backing out of alleys that had been ripped open to expose the sewer trench, stopping every 200 meters to ask this person or that, always receiving a different gesture of direction. By now I had laid a couple hundred extra rupees on the guy, hoping to calm him down. We were getting closer, but finally the poor bastard just ran out of gas, so limping and looking very downtrodden, he walked me the finally half kilometer to the hotel.
I am not going to say much more about India yet, lets see how it goes when I fly up north tomorrow. But honestly, if it does not smell better, get quieter, and generally appear less like a war zone- I will be out of this country in a week!