In Which I Somehow Manage To Get Back To Hyderabad, Meeting Up With A Surprise Friend From Another World Along The Way
This is the end. The end of the road. We made it into Delhi from the hellishly long train ride through the misty night at about 4:30. Since the driver fell asleep waiting for us to get in, it was well past five before we got to the Hotel Regent Continental (another winner for Narendra - gotta give it to the guy, he's good). We basically collapsed, and I was still sleeping (best bed of the trip, although maybe I was just THAT exhausted), when the Evil One started showering just before 11. At 11:10, she informed me that I'd need to wait before I tried the shower - the geyser (water heater, pronounced "geezer") needed time to reheat. So I whipped out Giancarlo, looked up the contact numbers Divya sent me earlier in the week when I asked about her being back here, and called her before hopping in the shower.
Upon finishing my shower, Evil informed me that she needed to be at the embassy at 12:30 to get a prescription for therapy in the states. Now this was not the plan we discussed at 5 a.m. that morning and I wasn't in the best of moods, anyways. Then she told me that there was a chance I might not be able to get IN the embassy. WTF? So I called Divya and we made a tentative plan to get in touch after Evil's business was concluded - she had to do some work, anyways, so it worked out. We called her as we were leaving the embassy, but since she didn't answer we headed out to central Cottage Industries on Janpath...which, it turned out, was where she was planning to have me meet her, anyways, and where, eventually, we did meet up.
Now, if you haven't had the opportunity to come together with a friend from one part of the world halfway around the globe from where you are used to seeing them, let me tell you: it is a surreal experience. Here is this lovely Indian woman I belly danced with in Omaha, but in Delhi. It made the crazy world in which I had catapulted myself seem so much more familiar and reassuring. We did a little shopping and I was blown away by how she strongarmed the merchants into giving me fairly reasonable prices. I whinge and say I don't have the money and this, that, and the other, and get some money knocked off the total, usually, but when I try her tactics, they fail miserably. The price of the priviledge that normally goes with white skin, I guess. Anyways, it was good to spend time with her, but I stayed a little too late, and I was afraid, when she told me it would take an hour to get back to the hotel where I was meeting back up with Evil, that we were going to miss our flight, which was just not cool because I HAD to get back to RAK.
(I don't know WHY I felt that so urgently, because now I'm dreading it again. Oh the impending "joy" of writing reports!)
Through the traffic I muttered under my breath, urging the tuk-tuk driver to hurry. We made it back to the hotel just five minutes after the driver was meant to pick up Evil and I to go to the airport. I paced until she made it back, a good fifteen minutes later, but we made it, off we went, and were at the airport an hour before our flight was scheduled to leave, and amazingly enough, it was on time! There were no problems in the air, or getting back on the ground, and - well, the prepaid taxi thing was a bit of a hassle, but come midnight we were back in the Hyderabad Hilton (long story about that name, maybe I'll tell you some day), and I was typing furiously to catch up this blog. Twenty-four hours later now, and I'm done. No offense, but I'm sick of y'all at this point, so don't expect anything else out of me for a while. Cheersies!