We just arrived in Delhi, our fifth flight leg since Monday. Only two more legs and we will be home. I have not seen this many airports nor have I have I flown this many legs in such a short period of time before. We all fly and we take at least a bit of notice about items we can and cannot carry onto an aircraft. We take our shoes off, empty our pockets, discard our belts and generally disrobe in the name of security. I like security as much as anyone else and I am very willing to be inconvenienced so that I can arrive at my destination in one piece.
In India there is a somewhat different approach to airport security, one that works very well given their very good safety record. Bags to be checked are scanned as soon as one enters the airport. In smaller airports, one must show identification and official flight information just to get into the ticketing area. Carry on bags are screened and proof of screening must be shown before one boards the aircraft. In return, you get to keep your shoes on (sorry shoe bomber), and you can keep your belt and stop worrying that your pants will fall to your knees showing your funky skivvies.
Yesterday, I paid close attention to what items can and cannot be carried on a flight. There was a sign at check-in that provided the particulars. First, I should write that there is no four ounce limit nor official size plastic bags in which to stuff your 3.5 ounce bottle of shampoo. The sign is more direct. Items banned include (not the exhaustive list): pickles and spices, swords, spear guns, pool cues, darts, radioactive materials, portable power drills, hammers, grenades, and crow bars. I must admit that I have never thought about carrying most of these items on to a flight, but it is nice to know exactly where one stands when it comes to carry on baggage.
I will provide more information about our university and other visits in a subsequent missive. However, I am pleased to report that the east coast of India is beautiful. There are sand beaches, yet rocky terrain much like Southern California — think San Diego. Close by there are hills and small mountains that are green with tropical trees and other foliage. The plants, along with flowers, are of the types and vivid colors seen in Florida and other parts of the US. Oleander, Crepe Myrtle, Bird of Paradise, and others are found. Papaya, banana, lemon, lime and other fruit trees are in abundance.
We are holding up in a small hotel for few hours before we go back to the airport. This part of the outskirts of New Delhi is abuzz with activity. It is part of the hotel belt that has grown up around the airport. Signing off for now.