After a very long flight and some unexpected surprises (I ended up having to stay one night at a hotel in Dubai -courtesy of Emirate Airlines- because my connecting flight from Dubai to Delhi was delayed), I am finally here in Delhi!
I was exhausted upon arrival in Delhi. The flight from Dubai to Delhi took an extra hour and a half. Then it took at least an hour to retrieve my baggage. I was certain my baggage was lost, but there it was, the VERY LAST one to tumble onto the carousel! Once I had my baggage, it took yet more time to go through customs. Arvind had arranged for a driver to come pick me up at 10:30 a.m., but I didn’t step outside of the airport until after 1 pm and I was certain I would have to arrange my own way to the hotel, The Likir House.
And, in case you are wondering, “Likir” is pronounced just like “liquor”.
Would my driver be there for me, still waiting with his sign? It seemed doubtful,but I looked and FOUND him! He held a sign that said: GALLO LIKIR HOUSE
I laughed, thinking what a nice ring GALLO LIKIR HOUSE has to it! My driver, Mr. Sundar Singh, was standing there, waving his sign, greeting my smile with an even bigger one! Unbelievable! He was there and I had found him among the crowd.
I happily followed Sundar’s blue turban to the parking lot. He merrily chatted the whole time in his thick Indian accent that sounded like music to my ears, “I am very very happy to meet you. I have many friends from all over the world. You will be my friend, too. Here is my car.” In my drunken-like tired state, I walked right up to the car and started to open the door. “No, No! That is the driver’s seat! You must go around to the other side, the passenger seat!” Of course, I am in India and the driver’s seat is on the right. I guess I was not too tired to laugh at myself and make a joke, “Well, Sundar, give me the keys. I will drive us to Likir House. You can show me the way.” My new Sikh friend, Sundar, laughed so hard, I thought his turban would unfurl!
On the way to the Likir House, with Sundar Singh driving and cheerfully chatting non-stop, he proved himself to be one of the nicest men in the world. He invited me to attend his nephew’s wedding next week in Punjab. His wife called as he was driving and he passed the phone to me so that I could “meet” her. She, too, invited me to stay with them at their farmhouse in Punjab and attend the wedding. I kindly declined as I will be on tour!
Once at the Likir House, I was shown to my room by two kind Tibetan girls, Tinzin and Yanchen, who seemed to be running the place. Likir House is owned by the Dalai Lama’s sister-in-law, Rinchen, whom I met in Dharamsala a few years ago. (see previous post about when I first met Rinchen).
Likir House is simple, clean, and quiet! I somehow found the last of my energy, took a shower, got into bed and slept through lunch and dinner! In fact, I didn’t wake up until 6 a.m. this morning. Yes, I am happy to be here!!! One more night, and then I will transfer over to the fancy Hotel Royal Plaza (which, I hear , unlike the humble Likir House, doesn’t have good WiFi reception).
As I have nothing planned for today and have some extra time on my hands, I will soon send out a blog with the tour itinerary. Coming next!