Our Last Days in India – Defense Colony and Laj Pat Nager Bazaar

July 5th

Yesterday Nicole and I didn’t do much of anything. We were both feeling a little under the weather on account of the constant traveling and heavy pollution in Delhi. We laid around our AirBnB and ate delicious curry from the vegetarian place around the corner. That evening, however, tragedy struck. The water in our apartment stopped working. This meant no showers, no sink, no toilet to flush. I won’t go into details, but a broken toilet and an all curry diet don’t mix. You can all be glad I didn’t take any pictures from that day.

July 6th, Our Last Day in India

Nicole and I woke up early as usual despite our room being pitch black all day, a feature I was a huge fan of. We were optimistic that the water might be working this morning and we could finally banish the mountain of feces in the toilet to the netherworld sewer labyrinth. Alas that was not the case. However, we didn’t let this minor poo setback ruin our day.

The Defense Colony

Riding to the Defense Colony
Riding to the Defense Colony

The two of us walked downstairs and hailed an autorickshaw to the defense colony. The defense colony is one of Delhi’s fancier neighborhoods, according to Nicole’s research. It took us about 30 minutes to arrive and once we got their we walked around the small market area of little shops. There were a few coffee shops and stationary stores, a pet shop, and an ice cream parlor.

Coffee lunch at the Defense Colony
Coffee lunch at the Defense Colony

Nicole and I stopped into the first coffee shop we saw and were greeted with a wall of icy air. I had forgotten the luxury of air conditioning until that moment. Nicole and I split a cronut (that’s a croissant donut for anyone unfamiliar) and a chicken sandwhich. We also got two coffees that came with miniature cookies, presumably for dunking in said coffee. The experience was fantastic.

Kent, my dad's name, and the name of a store in the defense colony
Kent, my dad’s name, and the name of a store in the defense colony

Laj Pat Nager Bazaar

After our breakfast/lunch the two of us hailed a real taxi to a local market and shopped for a bit. I won’t go into detail as we purchased gifts for our families and they are likely reading this (Hi family!).

Our taxi to the airport
Our taxi to the airport

Gifts in hand, we took an autorickshaw back to the apartment and had some curry for the last time. We packed the last of our things up and went downstairs to get into the cab Atul, our AirBnB host had booked for us.

Indian traffic
Indian traffic

Indira Gandhi International

It was perhaps 40 minutes later when we arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The airport is unique in the fact that you must show your ticket and passport to a security guard before they will let you into the airport. The whole airport seemed very security intensive, more than any airport I’ve ever been in. We had too answer a ton of questions when we checked in.

“Where are you going?”

“How long will you be there?”

“Can you show me your exit flight from your next country?”

“How much money do you have in your possession?”

In the security line I needed to empty out all of the electronics in my carry on into separate bins and after the metal detector, I had a full pat down. Nicole did as well, although her check was in a small boxed room.

Duty Free Mecca
Duty Free Mecca

Finally through all the security, we reached the terminal. India’s airport has a fantastically gaudy duty free section, Nicole and I spent our remaining 240INR ($4) on a chicken sandwich and a brownie before boarding our flight to Munich with a layover in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways

Nicole on Etihad to Abu Dhabi
Nicole on Etihad to Abu Dhabi

This is by far the nicest airline I have ever been on. The food was incredible, the seats were really comfortable, and they had big TV screens in the backs of all of the seats, much bigger than other airline screens I’ve seen. I would definitely recommend them if you have the choice to fly any airline ever.

Airplane meal
Airplane meal

Landing in Abu Dhabi

We landed in Abu Dhabi around midnight. Abu Dhabi is a cool city to fly into at night because its so lit up. Its interesting to see from above because all of the city is condensed into a small habitable patch of earth. Aside from those dense little pockets of humanity, the country is just sand and salt water. When we landed at the airport, we had to take a bus to the terminal and go through security. At every airport I’ve ever been to, if you’re just flying through you don’t need to go through security. However, we had to take off our shoes and belts and put our bags through the metal detector all over again in Abu Dhabi. The process ended up taking a really long time because everyone had to go through this process and dozens of planes were all landing at the same time.

The bus to the terminal in Abu Dhabi
The bus to the terminal in Abu Dhabi

The airport was incredibly busy for midnight. Just about every single gate had a flight coming into it and flying out of it every few minutes. I was also surprised by the number of westerners in the airport. I saw very few arabs in the airport, maybe a family or two here or there, but mostly westerners. The airport was really cool, all the bathrooms had shower stalls, there was a massive food court and duty free area, and there was even a sleep egg area where presumably you could sleep in some sort of pod for a few hours before your flight. We didn’t partake in any sleeping pods since our layover was only two hours.

Landing in Munich, Germany

Landing in Munich
Landing in Munich

My TV was broken on the flight from Abu Dhabi to Munich. The flight attendants offered to move me to a different seat, still economy class unfortunately. However, our flight was from 2am to 6am so I just wanted to sleep. I stayed in my seat with Nicole and managed to sleep almost the entire flight, which is very unusual for me and a real testament to how tired I was.

Once we landed in Germany….well I’ll start a new post with our Germany adventures….to be continued.

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