Nervous anticipation engulfed me as my flight touched down in Amritsar. I had already been in India for a few hours but had only managed to see a small portion of the inside of the Indira Ghandi International Airport in New Delhi. The flight had been long and exhausting but that didn’t curb my excitement for meeting my new, soon-to-be family.
I waited patiently for all the other passengers to collect their scattered baggage that had been rearranged several times to make room for everything that they had brought on board. Having a window seat had not been the luxury I had imagined when I requested it. Instead it only prolonged my stay in the airplane seat. When the aisle was finally clear enough I got up and collected my bag and made my way to the front of the plane.
It was late on a chilly February evening and the stars were shining bright in the sky. I noticed right away the difference in the smell in the air, the tone here was much more earthy and robust than the fresh country air of the small Virginia town I had left behind. I made my way through customs and spotted my fiancé in the waiting room with his family. The only thing I could see was the top half of his head and his arm waiving high to alert me to his presence because the waiting room was so packed. I quickly collected my luggage and said a blessing to God that my bags had wheels as there were no carts left to place them on and I headed towards the exit.
My fiancé saw me walking towards the door and he began his exit from the waiting room with his family. There was quite a long walk to reach the outside of both areas and my pace quickened as I realized almost every eye in the place was focused on me. My fiancé must have been walking faster because I spotted him rounding the corner towards my exit when I was only half way down the corridor and we both began running, me with luggage in tow.
We ran straight into each other’s arms and held each other tight. It didn’t take long to realize the spectacle an Indian man and white woman creates and we quickly let go and proceeded to meet his parents so we could head home. While leaving the airport I took notice of everything. It was exciting to see a new culture and learn about this strange new land. The cars were different, the streets were different and most of all, the people looked different. Their clothes were not the same as what I was used to seeing in the US though many wore what they deemed “western wear.” This was just the beginning of a fabulous two week adventure!