We have been at Sihaya’s in Brooklyn for the last few days making our final preparations for India. We picked up our visa yesterday at the General Consulate of India and it was fairly painless. If you go, show up a little before 9:00 a.m. and get a ticket. Your wait should be quick and you can pick your visa up by 12:00 p.m.! That little sticker in my passport made it official, we are actually going to India!
Astrid and I are getting on a plane this morning to go to the West coast to visit my dad before we leave for five months in India on the 10th. Only 5 days, 2 hours, 10 minutes, and 30 seconds away! I’ll post more before we leave.
T-minus 79 days, 20 hours, 29 minutes and counting! We are in the process of gathering all of our gear, getting immunization shots, and waiting for my freaking passport renewal to get back from the US Department of State so I can go get my Visa for India.
For those who don’t know, the US has decided that in the interest of “Homeland Security,” all American citizens planning on traveling to Mexico or Canada, must now have a passport. That means every Tom and Jane Midwesterner has clogged up the passport renewal system by applying for their passport for their annual vacation to their timeshare in Cabo so they can gorge themselves on buffet food and wear shorts that they pull up to their chest. When you look at the statistics of how many people in the US actually have a passport (9%) you can see that the probability of a backlog was enormous. And because of that, I have now waited two months to get my passport renewed. Way to go State Department! Thumbs up to you! See the story here.
As of right now, we are flying into Delhi on September 10, 2007 and staying in the Tibetan enclave just north of Old Delhi. After that, we are planning to travel up north into the Himalaya to Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama, and then a visit to the Golden Temple of the Sikhs in Amritsar. After that we plan to follow the Ganges toward Rishikesh and Varanasi.
I’ll post a picture of our gear later as well as keep you updated on our planning. Until then, check out this video about Indian traffic on YouTube, hey did you hear a horn?