The Indian Airport Chronicles – Delhi Edition
Travelling in India is not for the faint-hearted. Yes it’s a beautiful country with lots of wonderful things. However, if you are not Indian you may well be holding a sign that reads ‘Take my money’. The same goes for Indians born overseas. Airports can be particularly challenging because corrupt officials know you don’t have time to spare.
In some countries you might see 1 person dropping off 20 people at the airport. In India, you see 20 people dropping off 1 person. Thus in order to enter an Indian airport you need to show the guard at the gate your ticket and passport. If you are lucky you will be spared from the kind of conversations I go through.
“This isn’t a real ticket. Anyone can print a ticket and say it’s theirs.”
“Do you really think I have nothing else to do besides create a fake ticket, pack a suitcase and try to enter an airport?”
“You don’t know what people from Delhi are like. They do these things.”
If you’ve lived in India (or any other nation with rampant corruption) you would have likely realised that this man was looking for a bribe. I didn’t clue in. I simply walked to the next entrance completely puzzled as to why the first guard was giving me dirty looks. Quite frankly, if someone wants a bribe from me they are going to have to outright ask. Or come back to me in 2 hours when I finally figure it out.
Corrupt officials are not all you need to watch out for. Be wary of misleading signs, passengers who don’t understand the concept of a queue, and staff who think they have a sense of humour. Particularly immigration officials.
“You’ve listed your profession as writer. Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
“But your handwriting is untidy. Who would make you a writer?”
I might have replied if he wasn’t too busy laughing at his ‘joke’.