Friday, May 18, 2007

Back to Houston

Well, this post is finally here and after a particularly depressing finale episode of Grey's Anatomy last night, i decided to start on this. I'll probably talk about the anatomy of Grey's, well technically it can't be called Grey's Anatomy anymore!, sorry rambling, will probably write on that later if in the spirit!

It's more than a month since I got back and my travel memoirs are still not on paper or more appropriately on the www!, well who can I blame this time! Well for once I'd probably blame it my lethargy. yea that's a step in the right direction.. Acceptance! here we go...

April 14th, 2007: Mangalore is hot during this time of the year and it was unusually very so this time around, hoped for a few showers but there were none and it was time to leave.

Kingfisher Airlines (IXE - BLR): All red all beautiful :- ), found myself in a small ATR jet, a 46 seater with only one entrance. Ended up waiting on the runway for a little more than half an hour, the showers and thunderstorms finally decided to make their presence felt while I was cooped inside the plane! The flight was comfortable and they seemed to have a good menu but I decided to abstain! So can't comment on the food.

On the ground in Bangalore, and in the coach that was going to take us to the terminal we learned that there could be a delay. APJ Abdul Kalam had landed in a chopper and was in the process of boarding an IAF airplane. We were stuck on the runway for about 30 minutes, watching the IAF plane, not really hoping to catch a glimpse of the President. (This reminded me of the time in MIT, all of us on the terrace of the NLHostel!!!, the first time they let us get there and all we could hear was the whirring of the Presi's helicopter). Finally his plane took off, much to the pleasure of all of us stuck in the coach.

Bangalore Airport: Literally a parade of people, no indication again whatsoever which conveyor belt is going to bring in your baggage! I got out of the terminal and was so glad to see my friend and roomie of 3 years while at MIT, Pearl waiting outside. Unfortunately once you get out of the terminal, there's no real place you can make yourself comfortable in, we ending up sitting on some sort of elevated pavement, right across from where cars would attempt to crawl by. If not for the reminiscing about the past and catching up on the present, I would have gone insane in this place amidst all the human form of life and the not so human form of life (read stray dogs and mosquitoes! Don't get me wrong, I love dogs, just not the ones who wander outside airport terminals! And No, I don't love mosquitoes!). Thanks Pearl for your presence.

I had to kill 7 hours until my flight and there's no entry into the international departure terminal until about 3 hours before the scheduled departure time, there's just no room as the security guard pointed out.

There however seems to be no end to the parade, and the queue to get into the departure terminal was miles and miles long! The flight was overbooked, read about it here, specifically asked for window seats and nominated myself for Lufthansa's 'Miles and more' program.

The waiting terminal is really bad; almost every seat was occupied, ended up on an uncomfortable seat in front of the TV and found myself watching some show on Pogo, 'Just gags', I think it was. 4 international flights take off within a few hours of the other and there's just one gate!. We truly need the Devanhalli airport to be up and running soon, 8 years to completion, better late than never! I boarded with two hand bags, there's always an exception to the rule!

The flight was full, cringy despite the window seat. Don't know what movie was playing, had to strain to watch the screen! Was so glad when the 'fasten seat belts sign came on and we landed in Frankfurt, had about an 1 hour to make the connection and did so comfortably. We did have a security check, but the wait was peaceful and the atmosphere unbelievably calming. The aircraft was parked in some corner of the airport, a long ride in the coach!

FRA-IAH: The flight was only half-full, lot of empty seats and I found myself sitting next to the emergency exit door, was asked to go through some reading material on how to open the door. A teeny voice in my head (not sure if it came from the head) wished that I could open that door. The seat was the best I've had on all my flights with Lufthansa, lot of leg space, we also had side trays, nah... all the seats are not like this, just the few lucky ones who may have to open exit doors in case of an emergency!... better make sure they are comfortable and not cranky!!!

I say it again, the in-flight entertainment aboard Lufthansa sucks, headphones were again not working and they just shrug their heads!, asked me to move into another seat, well i looked around and decided not to leave my exit seat, after all I may get a chance to open the exit door( wow, dangerous wishful thinking). 'The holiday' was on and anyway with or without headphones i couldn't see the TV screen, neither could half the people in our section!

Landed on time, despite the delay and it was good to be on the ground

04/14/07 5:15 PM IST to 04/15/07 1:40 PM CST to Houston...

1 comment:

Rajz said...

> So can't comment on the food.
I heard that food keeps falling out from guys' mouth.. they just can't stop gawking ;)

>no indication again whatsoever which conveyor belt is going to bring in your baggage!

I spoke in Kannada.. they told me where exactly I had to drop my baggage!

> there's no real place you can make yourself comfortable in

Wow! You were on airport road! Ever considered going just out of the airport and looking at B'lore?

> queue to get into the departure terminal was miles and miles long!

I started out (with the queue) at the domestic terminal to get to the international terminal!

> The waiting terminal is really bad; almost every seat was occupied,

Oh! Then you did not get to see the best parts... The amount of "salivary amylase" (and got knows what other body fluids) that was on each seat! I walked into an empty terminal, but could not find one clean seat! Even railway planks stay cleaner!

> A teeny voice in my head (not sure if it came from the head) wished that I could open that door.

Ouch! You are nailed! The Feds are on you! Watch over your shoulder! You DON'T want to go to Cuba! Not even if they say it is a "vacation" ;)

> we also had side trays, nah... all the seats are not like this, just the few lucky ones

The other lucky ones are those who sit in the front rows, right in front of the TV.. zero leg space! And you know that 7 Imams were thrown out of a plane when they chose to sit close to the exits right? ;)