At Delhi airport I was in good time to check-in, once again concerned that Jet Airways may have overbooked the flight to try to clear their backlog of stranded customers, but I needn’t have worried. The check-in area was refreshingly organised after the madness of Kathmandu, and I had no trouble getting my ticket.
I must admit, I breathed a sigh of relief, as I am really looking forward to getting back to an organised and orderly country. I do enjoy the excitement of travel in unusual countries, but I think I am very tired now after 90 weeks, and in need of a well-deserved break.
Delhi airport has many frustrations. After having such a difficult time getting a visa, and getting into the country, they seem to want to make it even harder then to get out of the place. To get into the airport itself involved the whole turn-the-computer-on routine at the door to prove I had a flight booked. And then once checked-in, I tried to head outside to get a coffee and a sandwich. No chance! They won’t let you back out. Another guy coming in laughed at my arguments with the gun-toting guard. “Another crazy rule they have just made up recently, for no particular or obvious reason,” he told me.
Customs clearance involved many questions, including where I had stayed in India, and whether I needed a visa for the UK, as I was exiting the country on my Australian passport. I didn’t particularly want to open the second-passport potential can-of-worms!
The security screening was a bit of a comedy too, with my bag being pulled aside. I was asked to remove all metal items from it! I have never had that happen before, but often get questioned about the harmonica in the top pocket – it must look unusual on the scanner. There are all sorts of cables and chargers in my bag, so I pulled a few random items out, and handed the bag back. “All metal items removed?” asked the security guard, with an Indian waggle of the head. “Just scan it, for goodness sake,” I growled, getting one more small step closer to the end of my patience.
The final Indian amusement was that there is free internet at the airport. I looked for a power outlet for the computer, and was impressed to find a small laptop station with charger points. Things are looking up, I thought. Ah, but at the laptop station, the wi-fi signal is so weak as to be unusable. You have to sit elsewhere to pick up a good signal. Hmmm. London here I come!!