So I've arrived in Hyderabad, India and I have been trying to remember, why did I decide to do this again? I arrived with feelings of indifference. Of course I had my moment at the airport telling my mom goodbye but other than that I felt like my overall feelings about this “new exciting adventure in life” was really blah blah. Well of course, actually being here changes that.
I get off the plane that was supposed to arrive at 8:00pm at 8:15pm. Not a big deal but definitely my first introduction to India. Here in India the concept of time is pretty much non-existent. The 15 minute delay in my arrival is nothing compared to ordering furniture for next day delivery and literally waiting a week or paying for Internet service for three months then not hearing from the Internet guy in two days. The saying that begins “to be on time is to be early….” In India begins “to be on time is to be a damn fool”. If you are supposed to meet someone for coffee at noon you shouldn’t get worried until after 1:00pm if they haven’t arrived. But hey what’s the rush, right?
So I spend almost two hours between customs which isn’t bad until I spend another thirty minutes trying to find my driver who should have a big sign that says MARTICE. As I’m walking around trying to look like I’m ok while the entire airport stares at me, a young boy comes up to me asking if I need a taxi. I try to tell him that I’m ok but he continues to introduce himself anyway and persists on staying around to say that he will take me where I need to go for 400 rupees. So this is when I tell him again that I have a driver and I tell him my name. He responds by saying “you are Martice?” I say “yes”, and then he honestly saves me another thirty minutes and says “Your driver is upstairs looking for you”. I thank him politely and begin trudging my baggage back up to the elevator and he follows me, so this is when I get a little nervous because although he is a young boy, I am in a dim lit corner in India with a boy who has already made it clear he wants my money. I say to him again, in a more convincing tone that “I am ok” so he walks away.
I start to feel a little better until I get off the elevator and the boy is there again screaming my name, “Martice, Martice”. I felt like I had no choice so I walk over to him giving him a shy smile and say “hey, thanks again”. But he insists on showing me where my driver is, I follow because of course at this point I’m so ready to get home. I find the driver and another fellow and was off to the taxi. As I’m walking I see the boy near but I’m assuming he’s just headed outside in our direction until I see him walk to our taxi and patiently wait while my baggage is loaded in the trunk. I get in and close the door and look to my left and see the young boy no older than 14 with his middle finger on the window pointed directly at me! He had a stern look on his face that matched his finger with a F**k You! I couldn’t believe it! I knew that I would have to deal with children begging but not children flipping me off. All I could think was… Welcome to India.