As the plane flew through the hazy layers of smog that seem to perpetually enshroud Delhi, I knew I was home. Even the air as we debarked tasted different yet not entirely or unpleasantly unfamiliar.
The crushing reality of not going through the Diplomat line at the airport was my first dose of “visitor” reality. I wasn’t a Delhi Expat returning from leave or even a regular Delhite headed home. I was a visitor in this familiar land that seemed to have an odd ache of home and ease.
As we drove past the Niketans on the way to the Hotel I messaged Princess MK and told her the good news: the Queen Diva was back in town! Moments later she rang me and filled me in on the plans for lunch. I had been back in Delhi less than an hour and my date book as filling up rather nicely.
Queen E, the Ladies J, and the Princess met me at the hotel for what would be a marathon of a lunch. After demanding hugs from my friends, they immediately set to catching me up on the latest gossip, chat and dirt that I, being Internet-less in Nairobi, had been denied.
As the craziness reached its zenith I voice the despair we were all feeling, “Girls we need alcohol.” I could see the look of fear in the eyes of the waiter clearing our table. I don’t think he had realized or even dreamed that the insanity at the corner table was the work of sober people. Of course the Vodka Bar wouldn’t be open for another hour (42 minutes and 26 seconds, not that we were counting), so we needed to kill time.
We agreed to split up and run our respective errands and regroup for at 4:30 for drinks. We synchronized Swatches and set out. Princess MK and I piled into her car and headed for Khan Market so I could get refill cards for my prepaid SIM card. After a quick stop my old phone guy I made a beeline to Hidesign for a new a wallet.
This, I feel the need to point out in my own defense, was actually a necessary purchase as I had been using a small cloth change purse for the last year that barely fit my credit cards let alone money. After a few minutes of debate I left the store with not only a lovely leather wallet and even a small change purse to match. The whole deal (which coincidently matched my lovely Roots bag from Toronto) came to a total of less than Rps1200. And they say I don’t know how to bargain shop.
Having exhausted ourselves shopping, we headed back to Aura for refreshments. As I sat sipping a Pink Cucumber (aka Spa Drink) I smiled at the waiter who always served us back in our hey day and realized that while Delhi wasn’t home anymore but it was a really pretty darned close… for a week or three.