Saturday, May 19, 2007

The flight there

As you get on an Air India flight, a male attendant directs you where to go (there are 85 rows on the first floor of the plane alone!) and a female attendant in a sari bows her head over her folded hands and blesses you. The seats look like they were upholstered with old rugs, and there is a picture over each exit of a man in a turban bowing.
But what really struck us was the heat. It was late evening when we boarded, but it was at least 80 degrees on the plane. It got hotter and hotter over the hour and a half we sat on the runway hearing about technical problems. Then, all of a sudden, the lights shut off as the ‘ding’ you hear when the Fasten Your Seatbelt sign goes off started ringing out over and over and over. It was a strange, cacophonous symphony of differently pitched dings. For a long time. In the dark.
The flight attendants didn’t seem to understand that we wanted an explanation for our 2 hour delay. Then, we just took off. No announcement was made , not even a Take-Your-Seats. Maybe it’s a cultural difference? I guess a plane full of American journalists would want to know every detail of what was going on…
Once we were in the air, the turbulence was so bad that at one point my glass of water flipped over into my lap! Kind of hard to sleep when you are bouncing and wet.
Good news is the food was pretty tasty. Except the cantaloupe we had for breakfast…turns out it wasn’t cantaloupe. No idea what it was.
Honestly, the flight was fine. The people (almost all girls) are really sweet, and it was fun to freak out about how awful the flight was as a big group. Turns out I was the ONLY person to bring only one big suitcase (everyone else has 2 or 3, including the guys) which makes me nervous. The bus driver made fun of everyone as he loaded our suitcases: “Are you moving here, love? Blimey, this is a lotta stuff. How’d you carry it all?” Then he got to me. He looked at my bag, then at me, then back at my bag.
“So I take it you’re staying here for about three weeks, then?” he said while laughing.
Nice to know he makes fun of everyone equally.

1 comment:

Carol Toler said...

Great to hear how it is going.
Weird flight. Now you know if you do (or do NOT) want to travel to India anytime soon. I'm glad y'all made it safely. I hope that, in the coming months, you will over-use the term 'y'all', in a blatant attempt to call attention to, and generally emphasize, your Texan-ness. I don't recall hearing you use the phrase to date, but I encourage you to add it to your 'favorites' while in London. (and also, the practice of calling everyone "Sugar")
(just a suggestion)
Love, Mom