It wasn't until later in the flight that o remembered my friend Das from law school explaining family dynamics in India. I had commented about being at an Indian restaurant and how the boy was all over the place and in the waiters' way, playing with cars on the floor, etc., while his sister sat there quiet and was reprimanded when she did something minuscule at the table. Das told me that boys are not disciplined b/c they are boys and more important in the family dynamic, while girls are kept on a tight leash and disciplined. Recalling that conversation with Das, I believe that is probably why the parents sat there and did nothing.
Ok, so first impressions of India?
Well, I arrived at night so there's not too much I could see. I will say that as soon as I stepped off the plane, even on the jetway, it smelled like there was a fire near by. Kind of reminded me of Beijing when we left the airport. There, it wad b/c of the coal the Chinese burned for heat. However, this was much more pronounced. Here there was a smoky haze throughout the main arrivals area at the airport. Stepping outside was like stepping into a layer of smoke that just hovered there. Even walking into the hotel there was a haze in the main lobby. I'm definitely nervous about how my lungs will hold up here. The guy who picked us up at the airport said this was typical of Delhi in winter and didn't really notice it b/c that's how it always is.
Everyone seems very nice and I did not notice anyone who was clamoring to get me in their taxi or other stories I've been told. Everything was very easy. That impression will probably change tomorrow. ;-)
I'm staying tonite at the Janakapur Hilton. Beautiful hotel and very security conscious. Not only was the undercarriage of our van checked for bombs at the gate into the hotel, but we also had to go thru security before entering the lobby. Crazy!
I haven't thought much yet about what I'm doing tomorrow. Apparently 15 or so folks have already arrived, but I don't know who. All I know is I need to make myself go to sleep soon so I can acclimate to the time zone and be ready to go the next day.