journal excerpts of our trip to India

6 December 1989 to 13 January 1990

To Calcutta New
To train - Calcutta to Benares New
To Allahabad
To Benares

This was my first trip abroad as an adult. Our journey took 31 hours, flying from Toronto to New York where we had a 3 hour stopover during the dinner hour. We couldn't get anything to eat at the New York airport because all the restaurants were closed for private staff Christmas parties (!!!) Then from New York to Calcutta on Royal Jordanian Airlines. (It seemed like a good idea at the time of the booking....) Security for the airline was very strict. Leaving New York, our bags were checked very thoroughly - every piece looked at and shaken. We then went through an electronic check. All this was started ten minutes before the flight was due to leave. Consequently, we left an hour late! We spent an hour in Vienna (!!) in the plane and had to deplane in Amman to spend 2 hours there. In Amman, the security was even more strict with a personal search (clothes on) in a little private booth. I looked like an idiot, not knowing what was going on or what to expect. But it was very exciting to be hearing all languages except English all around.

When at last we were circling over Calcutta, I embarrassed T tremendously by being thrilled at the sight of palm trees, exclaiming over and over that I'd never seen them in real life. The plane landed but before we were finally released out onto the tarmac to walk to the terminal, they fumigated the plane with aerosol cans of something mysterious. Apparently, it's Indian law. (What could we possibly be adding to the murk?!?)

Then at last we were released from our prison, out into smoky hazy crowded Calcutta and our adventure began.

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Toronto Ontario Canada

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