Despite the standard sterile-ness and uniformity of airports, like a spot on a suit, something gives this one away as being…different.
Perhaps it is the stray cat that wanders its way through a maze of luggage being rescued from the mouth of the conveyor belt.
Or perhaps it is the fact that although we have spent considerable time at a desk composing a message to be sent over the loud speaker to page someone, having not yet heard it, I turn to an airport security guard who tells me, “this airport does not have a paging system.”
Perhaps it is the security check-point that ignores all those passengers that pass while the attendant is in the bathroom.
Or perhaps it is the large painted sign over the exit that requests customer feedback and asks for comments to be sent to a hotmail email address.
Perhaps it is the fact that, despite the dozen desks that cheerfully advertise “Delhi Information Desk,” the airport assistant says, “No. No information desk at this airport, Miss.”
And perhaps it is the fact that no phone cards are sold at the airport.
I inform my co-leader of this last learning and he smiles and says, “well, that would be because there are no payphones in this airport.”
“Ah. Yes.” I reply. This would be that whole “the only thing you can expect in India is the unexpected” idea in play, huh?”
We laugh and return to our group of students who are sitting on their luggage amusedly feeding crumbs of a leftover Chinese pastry to the stray cat.
We spread our arms and announce, “Welcome to India!”