Delhi does it again

Trip Start Jul 01, 2004
Trip End Jan 03, 2005

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Seth and I arrived from Bhutan to find the interior of the Delhi International airport covered in a thick haze of smoke. Something seemed to be burning quite badly, but the strange thing was that everyone was pretending not to notice. We had to wait in a passport line while choking - we couldn't see 20 feet in front of us. After getting our passports stamped we entered the heart of the smoke to collect our luggage. I had the following conversation with an airport employee while we waited:
Me:"Why is it so smokey in here?"
Random Airport official: Unintelligible Hinglish
Me:"So you're saying this is the airport smoking section?"
Random Airport offical: Smile, gives me the bobblehead.

Turns out that Druk air only delivered 2 out of our 3 bags from Paro. The missing bag contained two bamboo bows and 4 arrows. After pestering several airport employees and then waiting around the smoke filled baggage hall for an hour, we found a Druk Air baggage employee who apologized. He also informed us that the whole airport had been sprayed for mosquitos that morning. I'll try to post the pictures I took, but it seemed more likely that Terminal 2 was now a pile of burning cinders than a mere mosquito spraying had taken place. At any rate, Seth and I had waited so long, that the customs people had all left their posts. We simply ripped the custom declarations off our forms, dropped them on a random desk where the officials should have been, and continued on our merry way. The Druk Air employee then had me follow him up to his office where he presented me with a bamboo bow and a pair of arrows. Not sure why he was keeping a bow and a pair of arrows around his office, but it was equivalent to half our missing bag. He also said he would ship the bow back to the states for me. I have my doubts though.
Later, a third contestant for the worst business idea of the year contest approached Seth and me. He approached Seth trying to sell a fake beard. Now, Seth hasn't shaved since we got to Bhutan 2 weeks ago, which means that Seth really doesn't need a fake beard. Maybe I do in order to avoid getting carded around here since the drinking age is 25, but Seth surely doesn't. I can't imagine the fake beard guy's sales are all that stellar. We almost went back to get a picture with him, which could have produced his first rupee earnings of the day. Some of the stuff you see here is so crazy and sad at the same time that it's hard to know whether you should laugh or cry.
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