Not So Incredible India

“What happens in a certain place can stain your feelings for that location, just as ink can stain a white sheet. You can wash it, and wash it, and still never forget what has transpired, a word which here means “happened and made everybody sad.”
– Lemony Snicket

You may recall my adventure in the trackless wilds of Mumbai in the account of our harried return from my last Iraq deployment. If you need a refresher you can read all about it in the three part Flight Of Tears saga.

A couple of years ago I wrapped up a trip visiting the Kazakh Naval Infantry in Aktau along the Caspian Sea. Unfortunately my flight itinerary took me through Delhi both there and back. At the time I didn’t think much of this as I figured my previous experience in India was merely and aberration.

On the first leg of our trip we disembarked the plane in Delhi and moseyed on over to the international transfer area. We were asked to produce our passports and flight info. Then we were informed since our flight wasn’t for another eight hours we would have to take a seat and wait for the Air Astana folks to show up and give us our boarding passes (we had flown to Delhi on a different airline). No one was allowed through security into the terminal without a boarding pass.

The transfer waiting area was a desolate landscape of chairs and bad carpeting. There was a vending machine nearby as well as a glass cooler filled with various cola products. A small stand offered food which had been rotting under a heat lamp since 1982. Next to it a tarnished coffee machine rendered burned toilet water. Thirty meters away lay security and up the escalators beyond were glorious restaurants wafting their succulent wares down upon us. We seemed fated to survive our stay in New Delhi feeding on dead mice and chewing gum.

This was to prove only the beginning of horrors.  Part II to follow. Stay tuned for more tales of high adventure!

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

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