new delhi’s new airport terminal

so i had to go to the airport last night. to pick up an indonesian student who got a scholarship. he already texted me twice, asking me to do so, to accompany him. though i’m not really sure, whether to accompany him from the airport to the hostel and/or from hostel to campus (jamia millia). he gave me the date, but not the flight number. i was also stupid that i didnt ask him that important info. i was a bit reluctant because earlier i thought some indonesian students from jamia will do the task, also because he can stay in one of their places (our basecamp) in zakir nagar. but let’s not rely on that. so i went there. took an autorickhaw at around 9.30 (he’s supposed to arrive at that time and my flat isnt so far from airport). after bargain, i agreed for 130 rupee despite its the era of meter for autorickshaw in delhi 😐

on the way, before the toll road, we were stopped by some officers because auto is not allowed. there was a debate on how much i should pay him. they also questioned the rickshaw-wallah for not activating the meter. so i just paid him 100 and waiting for the airport bus at some scary, dark so-called bus stop. the bus came and it took me to the new airport terminal (terminal 3). some sikh men who talked to the conductor informed that i should go down there only. i didnt mind at all because i wanted to check out that cool terminal 😀

the terminal is good, very clean. it functions for both domestic and international. there’s no visitor’s lounge where we have to pay 80 rupee to have the priviledge to see the arriving people first in the air-conditioned room, before they got out of the building and enter the wilderness of india hehe.. anyway i was waiting and didn’t really know what to do. i didnt see the iccr guy who deals with my country (and picked me up exactly last year) i called the iccr (the scholarship) guy and, since his english is not comprehendable, i thought he said there was somebody from iccr who was there. still, i wrote at a paper « ICCR Indonesia Mr. so-and-so » and joined the people and waited. i was so bored. some guys were leading the trolleys, some were mopping the floor with that tiny cars. some hotel people were smelly…

but while waiting, i realized that enjoyed being there. enjoyed the gushing AC from inside everytime the automatic doors open; imagining the stores inside; especially seeing faces from all over the world (muscat, hong kong, addis ababa, even paris), coming by different carriers, smell of expensive perfumes. wondering their purpose of coming to india. their expression were so various, anxious searching for the one who would pick them up, either their friends, relatives or strangers; how they react when they found it. one guy seemed unable to find it for a long time, and he kept moving to and fro. some guys were very cute. a group carrying large bags, i thought they were going for hiking (i still remember my trip to nepal and leh). and i think i was also practising stereotyping. i thought some people were definetely indian (sharp noses, beard, and more identifiably… the sikh turban), some were chinese or korean or japanese. and i was sure that some people were indonesian, from the way they look and the way they looked at me or my paper. really… how am i supposed to know how this looks like?? and i also witnessed something interesting when i was so desperate and sat on the floor… a guy suddenly knelt down and put his head on the floor like one of the islamic prayer poses, as if kissing the floor. i was so shocked, i thought he fell! but he was actually honoring a person, a guy in white who wasnt too old. that guy in white only smiled, touched his back, and didn’t seem arrogant. a boy also bowed down.

boredom struck me again. so i went up to the departure floor. took the escalator 4 times (twice only bring you to the skywalk to the car park). it was more crowded, a lot of people sitting on the floor. but i have to admit that the terminal does look modern and beautiful (though lacking indianness). it was 12. i decided that if arrived by the airline at 11 (there was one from bangkok arriving exactly at 9.30), he would have reached the hostel anyway. so i went to the pre-paid taxi booth. the guy talked to me in hindi. again i have to come back to reality.