Dana's dancer Tati and his lighting designer Maja and I were set to fly to Chicago and then to Delhi but when we got to the AA ticket counter we were told that we would not make the Delhi flight because of a plane delay due to bad weather in Chicago. We were extremely lucky that they were able to get us on a set of Continental flights that get us to Delhi about the same time. The 15 hour flight was long and boring but we made it!.

The food was either american or Indian. I opted for the Indian dinner and American breakfast on the Delhi flight and then Indian breakfast on the Chennai flight. Rush Hour 3 with jackie Chan, the lastest movie with The Rock and several Bollywood movies were showing on the entertainment system. I watched Rush Hour 3 and some of the Indian films. My screen was crappy so I could not read the sub-titles.

We arrived in Delhi around 10:00pm and went through customs. That took about an hour but we were just so happy to be standing up we did not mind the wait. And we talked to a Sikh from Houston who was visiting his family in Punjab. My first unusual experience was the sea of men lining both sides of the walkway leading from the customs area to the rest of the world. There is definitely more of a deligniation between men's and women's activities. Picking up passengers with little cardboard signs is definitely a man's activity


We waited for two hours in the International passenger transfer area. I worked on my computer, watched a family whose son was about to marry his bride-to-be but they had not figured out exactly which bride-to-be would be chosen. The father was very enthusiasc about the whole ordeal- the son, not so much. The guard who checked people as they entered and exited the waiting area had this great moustache. Before we left I asked him and his associate, who had a gun slung across his shoulder, if I could take their picture.

At 2:00am Delhi time we boarded a bus and drove about 20 minutes to the domestic terminal. The shuttle manned by a a driver and an armed guard went through the runway area - we had to stop for a plane at one point - and through various airpot services are. There were lines of planes, lines of bikes, lines of Ambassador taxies, lines of men on a smoking break seen through a smokey haze - all photo ops that I missed because it was just to rough a ride to hole the camera still.

We then sat in the domestic terminal for 4 hours waiting for our flight to Chennai. Luckily the coffee stand was open so we drank coffee, read our books, learned about Eastern toilets and the Eastern version of Western toilets and talked to various travellers - both Indian and American.

east_t west_t

Our flight to Chennai was very comfortable. I sat near the emergency exit so I had all the leg room in the world. Rush Hour 3 was showing again as well as some old school Bollywood music videos. Maja observed they were very "Annette Funicello".

We arrived in Chennai about 10:30 am. Dana, Connie and dancers from the local company met as at the airport The local dancers gave us heavy wreaths of rose petals and marigolds. We are happy to be here!

We checked in and then went to lunch at a nice outdoor cafe called Mocha. Note the hookahs. We then went to a shopping center where I just could not deal with all the haggling involved in buying anything. Some of the dancers bought some nice stuff. we then went to temple dedicated to Shiva. It was beautiful.

Note the hookahs!