travelling in the strange times of A/H1N1 flue

I have just spent about week in New Delhi participating in the official launch of the CSISA project (Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia) and related planning meetings. In the time when A/H1N1 flue outbreak started in Mexico. Indian officials got a tough task – manhunt for about 2000 people who according to statistics arrived to India from Mexico within last about 10 days to check their health … at the end it shouldn’t be so complicated as each foreigner arriving to India must fill the form with identification of address where he/she will stay while in India. But who knows where all these papers end up after being stamped by immigration officials. Well, to make it short, from Indian officials visited me ;o).

The flight back to US was surprisingly totally full – including at least 10 families with small babies. I like babies, but not when they are crying in continuous cacophony nearly whole 14 hours. About 10 passengers with face masks, the rest didn’t care. When passing through immigration in Newark and stating that I am just in transit to Mexico the lady officer wished me good luck with raised eyebrows. When re-checking in my luggage another officer asked whether I am really sure to continue to Mexico. Well yes, I am. Checking the statistics of confirmed death is just around 20 and confirmed sick people are about 80 … in 25 million people town!
I feel sorry for Mexican economy and 250,000 pigs that are being slaughtered in Egypt and going back to Mexico.


Namaste India

Indira Ghandi International Airport in the New Delhi is still under construction (2 or 3 years already?), but not much improvement can be seen so far. At least immigration control was bit faster this time. Another observations:

The end of November seems to be the time of heavy air polution in this part of India. And also wedding time – on the way to the restaurant for a dinner we have met several escorts of grooms (making the traffic jam together with metro construction unbearable ;o) heading to the decorated huge tents in the open spaces especially opened for these occations.  Grooms is either coming on the horse or in the coach (in some parts of India maybe on the elephant?) accompanied by brass band and porters carrying the lamps. The wealthier the groom, the bigger and better decorated the escort. And the music …. I have to admit that to me it sounded more like a loudy noise than melodic music. But overall very interesting spectacle.  Return from the dinner was also interesting and adventurous – in the suk-suk (motor-tricycle) with driver who didn’t speak english (or maybe he did, but it was impossible to understand) – it took some time, but we found the way to the hotel. During the following days I have attended several meetings and visit e.g. to Aligarh (visiting Tata Kisan Sansar center and Haryali Kisan Bazaar) and to Ludhiana, visiting Punjab Agricultural University  (hey! I have seen the sun here – definitelly nicer place than Delhi). This was purely official visit – no time for tourist trip around, but what I have enjoyed  so much is obviously food. Gosh and Christmas is coming! Namaste India, I will come again in January.

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