I have arrived in Delhi!
From Frankfurt to Delhi, I slept. Every hour or two, however, I was woken up by a food or drink call by the attendants. It was rather uneventful. The sky was absolutely beautiful though: the clouds underneath, and the sun setting behind us. When we landed, I had no idea what to expect. It was night, around 8:45 PM or so Indian Standard Time. We stopped in the middle of nowhere, and the doors opened! As it turned out, there were stairs leading to the ground, where we were supposed to hop on a shuttle bus that would take us to the terminal. As I stepped outside, I was completely unprepared for what I would experience. I was wearing a sweatshirt (it was cold on the plane) and jeans, but when I got outside, I was overwhelmed by heat. We were not told what the actual temperature was, but I asked someone and he said that it was 37 degrees Celsius. Since it was nighttime, I thought it would be cooler. But it was almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit! And it was dry heat.
As we were waiting for the shuttle, an airhostess came downstairs helping an old lady. She spotted me, came my way, and asked me if I was alone. I told her I was, and she said, “Can you help this lady off the shuttle at the terminal?” And in the moment, I replied that of course I would. So I helped her off the shuttle, and into the terminal. We found a wheelchair, and then I let her go with someone who worked at the airport. The exchange itself was rather plain, but only later did it strike me how odd the exchange would have been by American, or generally western, standards. To the airhostess and the old lady, I was a complete stranger. But the word “stranger” does not mean anything to Indian people. Only because they feel comfortable with each other and trust each other are they able to ask things like this of one another. I don’t know why it is the way it is, but for some reason everyone is like family. In America, we somehow don’t share this relationship. I cannot even begin to wonder about why there is a difference. Aren’t we all people? Shouldn’t we love and trust each other as people? But we don’t. Not yet, anyway.