Postcard from... Delhi
I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived in Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport today. The place I remember from a few years ago was hugely crowded and disorganised; I waited ages for my visa, and found myself in darkness after a power cut.
But the terminal 3 I arrived in this time is something else. Opened in 2010, just in time for the Commonwealth Games, it stands shoulder to shoulder with any other fancy airport in the world: it is clean, has all the shops and restaurants you could wish for, and seems to respect its target of having 95 per cent of all passengers take less than 45 minutes from touch down to exit.
One thing that has stayed the same is the high security. Uniquely among airports I've been through, cigarette lighters are banned. In my various visits to Delhi airport, I probably handed over 20 of them to the security staff – one handbag search yielded at least eight, including a cherished fire extinguisher-shaped one. I begged to no avail (tip for smokers: take matches, they're fine, it seems). To be fair, it makes more sense to me than Heathrow's obsession with shampoo. You'll also get a body search whether you beep or not.
There's another unique reason to feel especially safe here. You are protected by police "performer of the month" G.K. Sharma. His portrait watches over you from above the x-ray machines. It states: "His profiling and later frisking led to the arrest of an UAE national who was smuggling a rare species of monkey (Slender Loris) from Bangkok to Dubai via India by hiding it in his undergarments."
The poster also includes a portrait of the primate. It is small, in case you were wondering.
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Greece crisis: Alexis Tsipras accepts troika bailout proposals with conditions
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 French woman dies in freak bungee jumping accident
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
Greece crisis: Alexis Tsipras accepts troika bailout proposals with conditions
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Britain First insist their videos aren't racist in bizarre attack on comedian Jason Manford
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...
£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...