We landed in Dubai for a three hour lay over. I’ve heard so much about Dubai, I wished we could have stayed an extra day to look around.
Sharda and Manny are friends of mine who will be meeting with our group at the Ashram. Only a few days ago, Sharda put some pictures on Facebook of a recent trip they took to Dubai. Sharda went shopping for gold necklaces, rode a camel in the desert, went para-gliding over the mountains–8000 feet in the air. To top that off, they went on a sand dune safari on rented dune buggies.
I’m going to put that on my bucket list.
After our layover, we flew three more hours into New Delhi. It was early morning, still very dark outside. I was exhausted and anxiously awaiting our arrival into New Delhi. I had no idea what to expect. I gazed out the window and saw the scattered towns below. It reminded me of white ash and golden embers, like scattered fires dying out everywhere. Oddly, it truly was a beautiful site.
As we prepared for our landing in New Delhi, I could see thick smog. It had this smell similar to gas from a stovetop. It was burning my throat. As I walked off the plane, many of the Indian people are now staring at me, no smiles, just stares. I felt as though I have a giant pimple on my nose.
It was really awkward, even a little bit scary. I wouldn’t want to be in India alone. Thankfully, I have friends who understand the culture who reassured me–more than once–that the stares are more of a curious nature.
Next, I went to wait in line to get my Visa cleared in order to enter the county. Waiting in line, I read a sentence that I hadn’t noticed before. The paperwork said that they have the right to turn anyone away who wasn’t a citizen. I nervously approach the desk. A woman fingerprinted me, takes my picture, scribbles something onto my Visa paperwork and then starts shooing me away.
My friends have already passed through and entered, so I’m unsure what to do or where to go. I go under a divider rope, thinking I could just ask someone on the other side. Suddenly this woman begins shouting and pointing for me to do something of which I had no idea. She is getting louder and wailing and flailing her hands in some sort of gestures. Finally I realized that she wanted to go back and start the process over. So I go back under the rope and stand at the end of the line to repeat the process. When I get to the front of the line and approach the front desk, I get the same woman as I did before. She starts pointing at me angrily now–again! Then she yells and points in another direction–I give up!
I was certain that India is going to send me home. But they didn’t. Thank the Lord!