I don’t know why it was so hard for us to decide on India. I guess we were daunted. Through the years we’ve been traveling, and especially these last few years of land travel, we’ve been advised either “You must go!” or “Don’t even think about it!” We assumed it would be difficult on our own and we can neither afford, nor mostly tolerate, tours. In the end Youtube convinced us we could do it. Shoutout to all the YouTubers who share up to date real world experiences and offer a pretty good idea of what to expect.

From Kuala Lumpur every single affordable flight arrives late at night. We chose the least objectionable budget airline and arrived only slightly delayed to Delhi.

Our first task is always to get cash at an ATM and just like Indonesia, the maximum withdrawal is pitifully small for a country that mostly runs on cash.

Next up is SIM cards for the phones. We had one choice and I knew it wouldn’t be enough data for us but that’s all we could get at the airport. The process took forever, made even longer because Jack went outside to look for another vendor then wasn’t allowed to re-enter the terminal. He passed me his phone and passport under the watchful eye of the guard at the door, and the SIM vendor had to go outside to take Jack’s photo, a requirement to sign up for a phone card. The vendor was allowed back in. Jack wasn’t.

We took an Uber to our guesthouse, an impossible to find homestay down an alley parked so tight with cars that we inched along with millimeters to spare under a fine example of Asian wiring.

The next day we successfully navigated the excellent Metro system for a full day of sightseeing in New Delhi. Old Delhi will wait for another day— it’s a huge city and in a couple of days we’ll only get a taste.

It’s been difficult to decide on an itinerary for our month in India, and while we have a rough idea of the areas we want to visit for this initial trip, we haven’t booked more than the first few days of lodging or transportation. We know from experience that we may get suggestions from other travelers or guesthouse hosts and we like to be spontaneous. We’ll see how that works out.

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