भारत में आपका स्वागत है

I finally arrived in India. It feels comfortable and familiar each time I arrive here. I have now been here so often that the routine at the airport and on arrival at the hotel all feel quite welcoming.

I was interested to see that the road immediately outside the international airport here is getting an upper level – there is a huge flyover being constructed that will presumably create a bypass for those cars just going past the airport. There is a very nice Hyatt hotel just outside the international airport and now this flyover is being constructed right in front of their windows – a shame for the guests there as someone up on the sixth floor will just have a view of cars now.

I’m staying in Bandra this time and there is a lot of new construction going on here too – more than I have seen in this part of Mumbai for a couple of years.

I’m surprised really that I feel quite OK today. It’s now Monday and I left São Paulo on Saturday afternoon, so my journey was around 30 hours long. I had a lot of trouble initially because BA was delayed. I was supposed to connect in London and they told me I could not make the connection to India, so they eventually rebooked me onto a Lufthansa flight.

Incredibly Lufthansa managed to find me some good seats (I always try reserving emergency exits or at least an aisle seat when on economy seats – this trip doesn’t have the budget available for business class) and vegetarian food. The crew at the airport and on the plane were really helpful – with one of the cabin crew really taking some time on board to talk about India with me and help to confirm my onward connection at Munich.

Unfortunately a bottle of cachaça that I had stowed in my luggage got broken, so a lot of my clothes ended up smelling of distilled sugar cane. It’s a good thing that laundry doesn’t cost too much in India…
Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India

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