I’m here in Delhi on day one, and I don’t have a backpack. So no change of clothes, no soap, no towel, no everything else I had in there. Luckily (thanks, mom) I have a little carry-on kit that packs some cleansers, a toothbrush and toothpaste. It also had a little face towel, about six inches by six inches square, which I am now using as my full body drying tool. Needless to say, I’m spending a few minutes after every “rinse” standing under the ceiling fan in my guesthouse room. It’s overpriced at 400 rupees (a little less than $10), but it has a private bathroom and a tv with some amazing stuff on it. So far the highlights have included copious amounts of cricket and Bollywood, along with a Hindi dub of Mortal Combat.

Yes, Air India lost my bag. I got a nice little taste of Indian bureaucracy as a result, though. After filling out some form in triplicate, I had to take a copy of it over to customs to have them verify that it was cool for me to leave the airport without the checked luggage I had already declared on a different form. After giving it a vigorous stamping (with a stamp, not his foot), the customs official handed it back to me somewhat derisively. I asked him politely if I now needed to take it back over to the Air India “baggage recovery” desk. In response, I got my first head wobble. Yes, that most infamous of Indian gestures. He dropped his head in the slightest of tilts to his left; a sort of curt, sideways nod. It felt like getting inducted into a club, and has pretty much made the whole experience worthwhile. Provided the bag shows up today, of course.

It’s hot here, hitting the high thirties by day, mid thirties at night. The humidex, the air pollution, and the even the noise make it worse. But I like it. This is what I came for. The heat and the insanity. No joke. The drive in from Indira Gandhi International was hilarious. At one point I could have easily reached out the window of my little Tata cab and not only touched the motorcyclist next to us, but I easily could have smacked the Indian Army jeep riding on his other side. All of this at 90 kilometers an hour. I can’t wait to get my motorbike.

Continuing to work backwards, my flights were mostly uneventful, if long. On the flight from Toronto to JFK, a young boy sitting next to his father got very excited. As we lifted off from the ground, he began to yammer uncontrollably: “We’re in the sky, dad! Wow! Look! We’re up in the sky! Whooaaahhh! Dad! We’re in the sky!” Dad (and everyone else) rolled his eyes. I was thinking, “Damn. We’re in the fucking sky. No shit.” I love flying, in a perverse, masochistic sort of way. Even though the whole procedure is really a pain, the whole “being in the sky” bit never gets old. Plus, as a bonus, we travel at 900 kilometers an hour. Rad. I got to India in less than 24 hours. Fucking India. Love it.

It reminds me of this Louis CK bit on Conan. I’ll leave you with the clip, take care ya’ll. Photos to come.