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DC - New Delhi India - DC in 5 days - Crazy?

DC - New Delhi India - DC in 5 days - Crazy?

Apr 23rd, 2010, 02:16 PM
  #1  
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DC - New Delhi India - DC in 5 days - Crazy?

I live in DC. I've been invited to a wedding in New Delhi on Sun May 9. I cannot leave until Fri May 7 at 3 pm, putting me into New Delhi about 10 pm on Saturday May 8. Then I have to be back in the states to go to work on Thu May 13. This seems to give me all day Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday in New Delhi with a departure back to DC at 10 pm on Tues May 11. This would be crazy, right? Is this physically and mentally possible? If I undertake this, is it better to go East to West, or West to East?
tachiebluebird is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 02:42 PM
  #2  
 
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You don't say how old you are and how much you've traveled to Asia. More info, please?
indianapearl is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 03:02 PM
  #3  
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Funny, I had my age in there but took it out before posting as it read like a personal. 38 year old female. No travel to Asia, will have to little planning once there as groom will handle all details. Thanks!
tachiebluebird is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 03:03 PM
  #4  
 
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Can you get a visa in time? that would be question #1. Usually they are obtained by mail and can take a week at the least. Maybe you can go in person in DC to an embassy?

Not sure why you are asking about East to West, or West to East. there are lots of direct flights from the US east coast to Delhi. At about 8000 miles, thats half the distance of a western flight.

If you can get a visa though, I'd say definitely do it. It'll be fun and you can always sleep later!
lcuy is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 03:06 PM
  #5  
 
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Oh, and Indians often have a menhdi party for all the women on the night before a wedding. If you are invited, and could get there in time for that, I think it would be worth taking an extra day off from work.
lcuy is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 03:12 PM
  #6  
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Yes, visa can be had in 5 days, or 1 day in person. That's what I figure sleep later, and lots of coffee.

A friend had mentioned going to LA then flying to India, but yes, it's a few more hours. Going across the Atlantic makes much more sense.

Thanks for the menhdi party tip - unfortunately cannot take off work that day, but maybe I can find a better flight that gets me in earlier on Saturday night.
tachiebluebird is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 03:35 PM
  #7  
 
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i would do it with the realization that after my return i would be beat for a couple of weeks...

remember the heat there too...

we watch parts of an indian wedding two weeks ago at the hyatt in greenwich CT... it was quite a happening, so i strongly suggest that you attend...
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 03:49 PM
  #8  
 
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There are non-stops to Delhi from both JFK (Indian AIr) and from Newark (Continental). Take one of those, as it will take you much less time to get there than a connecting flight through Europe - or worse yet, though LA.

Yes, it's crazy. Yes, I would do it.
Kathie is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 03:54 PM
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Keep in mind immigration, baggage claim and traffic in Delhi may delay you by several hours from flight "arrival" to arrival at the home. If you'll be taking a cab, be sure to have a map printed out and a phone number for the driver to call your host or hotel when he gets lost!
lcuy is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 04:11 PM
  #10  
 
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Just go. It's a rare and special opportunity.
dogster is offline  
Apr 24th, 2010, 01:45 AM
  #11  
 
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Go for it!!!!
CaliNurse is offline  
Apr 24th, 2010, 04:45 AM
  #12  
 
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You're young enough to recover quickly -- go for it, but the visa is definitely an issue.
indianapearl is offline  
Apr 24th, 2010, 05:35 PM
  #13  
 
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If you go, have you thought of what you will wear? Indian wedding ceremonies are dressy/formal. Do you have someone local to help you plan this? Will you wear Indian or Western attire?

Make sure you have a camera because you will want to take plenty of pictures of both Delhi and definitely of the wedding events.
Jaya is offline  
Apr 25th, 2010, 10:18 AM
  #14  
 
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Go. You may never get the oportunity to attend a wedding there again. It will be a very special event.
jules39 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2010, 10:20 AM
  #15  
 
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I would make sure you have someone to meet yo at the airport & take you where you will be staying. If your friend can arrange that great otherwise concider contacting one of the companies people have used on this forum & see if they will do an airport meet & transfer. It will be much easier than getting a taxi.
jules39 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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I would recommend Ramesh Meena at fourwheeldriveindia.com. He is impeccably honest, speaks English excellently, and is an all around good guy. If you choose not to use his company, Dogster's recco to have your hotel pick you up is excellent. The driver won't take you to another hotel, then say that the hotel you've asked for is booked.
indianapearl is offline  
Apr 25th, 2010, 04:26 PM
  #17  
 
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Or get completely lost or pretend to...

But I bet, if it's anything like Indian weddings I've seen, they'll probably have a highly decorated elephant at the airport - or at very least a car with decorations.
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Apr 25th, 2010, 11:14 PM
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It is certainly very nice of you to consider spending the money and taking the time to go to the wedding. You should bear in mind that there could be anywhere from 100 to 1000 people at the various wedding events, and it is likely that you won’t really see or spend any time with the groom at all. If you are OK being entirely on your own at the wedding (which may entail several receptions over a few days), then I would say to go. The Indians at the wedding will be very friendly and will love to fill you in on the meaning of the ceremonies. The level of English is likely to be excellent, so I would not have any concerns about finding people to talk to. If there is anyway you can convince a friend to go with you, that may make things more enjoyable, however.

As you can’t leave until May 7 and have to be at work on May 13, at the most, you would between 3-4 days in Delhi. You have to decide if 3- 4 days is worth the time and money. If you want 4 days, then in order to be at work on Thursday morning May 13, you have to leave Delhi on Wednesday evening May 12. This means taking the Continental flight which arrives into DC at 8:30 am which also means that you have to go to work and work the whole day on top on an international long-haul flight. If this is not attractive to you, your other option is to leave Delhi on Tuesday evening May 11. You probably would be hard-pressed to make it to work on Thursday morning going via Air India, as you would not land at JFK until 6 am, and have to go through Customs, then change planes, etc, so I don’t see you landing in DC until 10 am or so at the earliest. The other flight option on Jet Airways would mean you have to leave on Tuesday May 11 in any event, as the flight does not arrive into the US until mid-morning.

For what it is worth, according to the Air India website, they have no seats available in economy for May 7 on the non-stop flight from JFK to Delhi, so your flight choices may be running out in any event.

I am assuming this is a Hindu wedding. You need to find out the time of the wedding ceremony and then the wedding dinner, as the wedding could be a 6 am in the morning if that is the time that the astrologer picked as the auspicious time for the ceremony. The dinner may not start until 9 pm. This may also weigh into whether you want to go to the “wedding”.

From DC, IMO the best thing do to is fly to Newark and take the Continental non-stop to Delhi. The CO flight departs Newark at 8:30 pm on Friday May 7 and arrives into Deli at 8:15 pm on Saturday May 8. So I assume you can get yourself to EWR from DC by 6:30 pm or so. Second choice would be the Jet Airways flight from Newark (departs at 6:30 pm) or JFK (departs 6:10 pm), you have to change in Brussels. I am also not sure if going via Europe in the next few weeks is a good thing to do given the current backlog of flights they are still trying to clear from the volcano situation. Air India would be a very distant third choice, IMO. (You would have to pay ME to take Air India when other better airlines are available.)

Have you already arranged a hotel or has accommodation been arranged for all wedding guests already? Otherwise, to be frank, I would not put any pressure on the groom to assist you with travel plans. He will have a lot of things to go on his own to take care of his family and the bride’s family. I am sure he was being a very typical Indian host in saying he would help you, but if I can be honest, I would not try to take him up on it. Do your own planning.

I would not try to wear a sari if you never have done so before. There is an art to walking in one which takes some practice, and you would also have to get someone to tie it for you (although hotel staff can do so in a pinch.) You could wear Punjabi outfit (tunic and pants) but you hardly have time to get Indian dress in any event. Just wear a nice dress and the nicest jewelry you have. If the ceremony and the dinner are separated by several hours or a day, then I would say that the ceremony would be more casual than the dinner, so dress up for the latter. (Also you might wear a sari to the ceremony but not to the dinner.) I would err on the side of modest dress if possible, i.e., keep shoulders covered and no short skirts; although you may see younger Indian women at the dinner in not so modest dress, it’s hard for me to say without knowing the particulars of the group. (If you do wear a sari, please put your hair up and put flowers in it. If your hair is short, just put flowers in it. You are trying to blend in, not stand out.)

I would not plan to do anything in terms of sightseeing outside of Delhi on such a short trip, but would stay in Delhi which offers plenty of sights. You don’t really have time for anything else, and it is so hot right now (the hottest summer on record in India so far). I would not even try to go down to Agra, although I suppose you might be able to do that on Monday and Tuesday if you don’t have any wedding events on those days. Please do not do Agra as a day trip, esp. in the heat. You will miss the whole point, which is sunrise and sunset.
Cicerone is offline  
Apr 26th, 2010, 04:42 AM
  #19  
 
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My listing above was in error. Ramesh Meena has two companies: ramindiatours.com and indiabycaranddriver, not the one I listed above.
indianapearl is offline  
May 4th, 2010, 02:57 PM
  #20  
 
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So tachibluebird, what did you decide? Are you departing this weekend for India or staying home?
Jaya is offline  
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