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    All These Colors Tour: India Part 52

    Sunday, November 4, 2012
    Delhi, India

    A colorful sign beckons passersby into a shop in the back lanes of Paharganj, Delhi, India.

    I spent my last day in India relaxing under a ceiling fan at the Brown Bread Bakery. Although I didn’t want to walk around outside too much and get all sweaty and dirty before I went to the airport, I did take one short stroll down the Main Bazaar in Paharganj to look for a souvenir bedspread, but never found anything that struck my fancy. One time while I was sitting in the bakery, I heard some super loud drummers pass by outside–no doubt part of another Hindu procession–but I had my laptop and other stuff out on the table, so I couldn’t run over to check it out. I was bummed I didn’t get a clip of that. Around 9:30 pm, an old man who drove like a bat out of baseball whisked me to the airport in a taxi cab. The fare was 300 rupees, and a big smile appeared on his face when I gave him a 100 rupee tip. Luckily, I had randomly read on a Trip Advisor message board thread that you have to show your passport and a print out of your e-ticket to guards at the front doors of the airport, or they won’t let you in. I wonder what happens to people who don’t hear about that rule beforehand? They probably have to take a taxi all the way back into town to print out their e-tickets at a hotel or shop somewhere. But, that might be difficult or impossible late at night.

    A small Hindu shrine in the back lanes of Paharganj, Delhi, India.

    Inside the airport, there were so many checkpoints, I lost count of how many times my body, passport, boarding pass and messenger bag got screened. Security in India is even tighter than it is in the United States. In a shop, I saw some coffee table books full of photos of Indians engaging in daily activities and religious rituals that were so intense, they put my photos–of people, at least– to shame. I wondered how the photographers could approach strangers–bathing in the Ganges river, for example–and capture such personal images. Luckily, this airport is outfitted with those automated conveyor belt walkways, because my feet were starting to get gnarly. A few little blisters recently appeared on my toes because I had walked too much over the past few days. A little bit later, I was having trouble buying some potato chips from a vending machine, and a really nice janitor lady with henna tattoos all over her hands stopped to help me.

    A tweaked painting of a fighter jet on a wall on Copernicus Marg in Central Delhi, India.

    Long story short, she figured it out, and I asked if I could buy her a bag of chips as a thank you. She said yes, so I put in money. Then she stood around waiting for me to leave instead of pressing a button. I figured she was poor and just wanted the money from the machine instead. So, I gave her an additional 50 rupees, as well. A little while later, when I was waiting to board the plane, she stopped, smiled and wished me a good trip. I had one last 50 rupee note in my pocket that I was going to put in my scrapbook, but I just gave it to her instead. She was so stoked, I was glad I made two people happy tonight. Then I settled into my seat on the plane for the grueling 20-hour flight home. I’d like to thank David from Poison Pie and his family, my brother Jim and anyone else who looked at my daily posts over the past four months from the Tropical Heat Tour and All These Colors Tour. Also thanks to everyone I encountered in Bali, Thailand, Myanmar and India for making it all possible. It was such a rewarding experience to learn a little bit more about you and your cultures.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

    2 responses to “All These Colors Tour: India Part 52”

    1. Poison Pie says:

      Garry:

      We enjoyed reading your travel blog each morning! You’ll have to do it again some time, maybe somewhere else.

      David

    2. Spock says:

      They have a free printout counter in all airports in India. All you have to do is to give them your ticket number and they will print it for you

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