Monday, 17 September 2007

Arrived safely in India!

New Delhi, Hotel Ajanta
Well, KL turned out to be a bit... underwhelming, given that we had limited time and money. Our hotel was in the wops (not unlike the airport hotels in Auckland) and it took 40 mins to get into the city. We turned up at the Petronas towers, marvelled at the height and shape, and then found out we had arrived too late to get tickets to go up to the bridge before we had to go back to the airport, so... Ah well. At lunchtime we met up with Natalie, James' sister's friend, and we had lunch at a Penang restaurant at the mall, which had the best Char Kwei Dieu (sorry for the mangled spelling, I have no idea) I've ever eaten... And it probably wasn't even close to the best in Malaysia itself, but easily surpassed anything I've had in NZ.
Back at the airport we visited our good friends Ronald McDonald and the Colonel for dinner, mainly because we were enticed by McFlurrys (for some reason NZ seems to be the only country to have discontinued this delicious dessert) and the KFC had been recommended to me by Malaysian workmates. The chicken was nice enough I guess, but I was highly disappointed by the potato & gravy (usually my favourite), which tasted nothing like the stuff in NZ.
I've often been told that smell is the strongest trigger of memory or something like that... So I guess when I stepped into the Delhi airport terminal it wasn't surprising that the smell immediately reminded me of Indian shops and restaurants I'd visited in Auckland. After heading through customs I was a bit apprehensive about the gauntlet of drivers I'd heard/read about who apparently accost you as soon as you come out of the arrivals gate, but fortunately we found our hotel pickup person easily enough and headed off with him back to town.
I had been expecting the driving to be crazy, but I was still a bit shaken at all the close calls and frequent honking. James said one of the interesting points as well is that all the drivers seem completely calm as well, even as they're cutting in front of other people or being cut in front of. Also, while I was dozing off, apparently he saw a cow on the side of the road! I'm sure we'll see plenty more later on as well.
At the hotel, we were ushered into the manager's office where he took down our details, photocopied our passports, etc. While that was going on, his small mouse nonchalantly scampered from under the door of a neighbouring office into the one we were in, and then quickly under the manager's desk! Nice. We also saw a whole traffic island full of field mice in KL as well, which was kind of cute and gross at the same time.
Anyway, it's nearly midnight and we're all dead tired, so I better end this entry and let everyone go to sleep. Hope I actually get to upload this sometime soon...!

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