First, I head to the local airport, where a Northwest agent looks at my flight and tell me to walk clear to the opposite end of the terminal to check in with Continental. After waiting an interminable length of time, the Continental agent looks at my flight information and informs me that while the flight info may say Continental, it is actually being operated by Northwest, and to go walk all the way back to where I started.
An uneventful flight later I land in Newark, where I discover I'm leaving from a different terminal. In Newark this means going through security. Again. I determine a place to wait for my father and note that my aunt's plane is late, then call Jess and bitch. My father locates me, we go get my aunt, and retreat to the Northwest Lounge to eat cheese and crackers and while away the next few (five) hours. I, not incidentally, have a vodka tonic there.
Eventually we board the flight to India, a process that can only be described as "chaotic", although I'd like to add "long" and "disorganized" to the list. Dad has purchased an extra seat, and so he and I have it between us. This is nice, and we use it to pile crap on for the next fifteen hours. My aunt is on the other side of the plane and so many rows ahead we never see her.
The flight isn't so bad at first, until I realize that no matter what I try, I can't sleep. Now, this flight left Newark at 9pm, so I'm pretty damn tired by the time I've been stuck on the plane for fifteen hours. But, sleep evades me. Then my cold starts acting up and causing my throat to dry out faster than it would normally on a flight with circulated air, so I start drinking tea like some sort of strange vampire to soothe it. This turns out to have dire consequences, as I finally discover just what it is that causes my heart to beat irregularly - it's too much caffeine!
I am thus exhausted, hyped on caffeine, and experiencing weird heart problems when we finally arrive in Delhi. The airport sucks, incidentally. Nidhi, the bride-to-be, and her father meet us with flowers, and then we stand around. It's around midnight or so, Delhi time, I think.
After awhile we finally pile in cars to head to the hotel, and it's now that I discover that traffic in India is, for lack of a better term, fucking scary. I used to think the Beltway near D.C. was scary. NO LONGER. Traffic rules - and these include lanes, stop lights, and pretty much everything - are arbitrary at best, aggressively ignored at worst. Oftentimes you will be on a two-lane road with four lanes of traffic cramming around each other. Add in the fact that there are rickshaws, bikers, pedestrians, beggers, stray dogs, stray cows, and various other things clogging up the road, and I'm surprised I didn't actually have a heart attack that first night.
One of the very first things I see on the drive, incidentally, is two dogs fucking. India is overrun with stray dogs and, yes, cows.
And so, my first day. Yes, it's just about travel. I'll get to the hotel and Day 1: Shopping some other time.