Friday, April 18, 2008


Seat 30A is definitively the best seat in a 747. It's the first seat in the plane after the first class, so no one lowers their seat onto you. When you are done sleeping by leaning on the window, watching the pretty clouds, there is enough floor space to leave without disturbing your neighbor. And it is as far from the engine as can be, so it's a tad less noisy.

But that last bit didn't matter. I had my Shure ear-plug style earphone with me. The cute Chinese attendants were pantomiming to me the whole way, and I couldn't hear the baby crying in the next row. So, yes, I had a good 23 hours of combined flying (14 + 3 layover + 6), thank you.

On the ride between the Delhi airport and the hotel I saw: bikes caring more cargo that small trucks, two cows entertaining a conversation across the fence of the boulevard's median, a woman salving bricks from a construction site by balancing them on her head. I also paid too much for the ride (2$ instead of 0.50$) and was too easily convinced into the most expensive room of the hotel. It's all good; the first layer of the India experience comes easily.

The gender inequality here is large... the woman have all the grace. But for a few college students, they all wear colorful flowing traditional dresses. They are beautiful. The men on the other hand, have zero sense of fashion. They wear the equivalent of the first shirt off the rack at Salvation Army, paired the first pants, with no regards to whether they are faded or to whether they match. Could this be what life would look like if advertisement had no hold on us westerners?

Traffic here follows the laws of fluid dynamics, and little else. If there is an open space, your taxi will flows into it. It will also honk during the transition if there is less than 1 inch clearance, which is most of the time. The painted white line dividers act as a tribute to the colonial power that inspired the India to build roads, and serve little other purpose. Just as other fluid motions phenomenon, it is beautiful to those not terrified by it.

I would love to go blading on these road, just to see how traffic would react. Contrary to the expectation, the conditions do admits blading. But I forgot my blades, on a bus, in SF, while floating in toughs on how I hadn't missed any connection, lost my way, or lost anything so far. Damn. It is finally time to upgrade my wheels, after 10 years of loyal service of my Bauers 7-wheeled skates.

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