The View From My Apartment 11
I guess it’s time. People have been asking, some have been demanding that I write a blog about my first trip to India. So. Here it goes.
I’ve struggled with it, honestly. It was such a surprising trip, and many times a whirl wind. And in some ways, things were so different, that I’m not even sure how to write about it—where to put it into my brain.
When it comes down to it: this was a trip where for the first time I was meeting a lot of my in-laws at once—and then getting married. But it was also a trip to a foreign country that was going to be really foreign to me—I’ve only been to Canada (doesn’t count), Jamaica (designed for tourists), and Texas (kind of speaks English.) This is also the home country of my wife—a place she hadn’t seen in four years.
It was going to be quite a ride.
I’m going to do this in episodes—dedicating a few blogs to the whole trip, until the whole thing is done.
British Airways (Flying the We Know How to Apologize Well Skies)
Our airline of choice was British Airways. They seemed like responsible blokes, so we took it. When we got to the airport, we found out our flight was delayed, as was the flight before us. It was going to leave at the time that our flight was supposed to, so they rebooked us onto that one.
It was important that we got to Heathrow in time, as we had a connection flight to Delhi—and we really didn’t want to miss it. Because to miss it would through everything into chaos. And NO one likes chaos when they are traveling across the globe.
So, they put us onto the delayed-flight-leaving-when-our-flight-should-have-left-flight. Sadly, we didn’t get to sit together. More sadly, my wife had the better seat. She had leg room. And was able to get up and move. And wasn’t next to a whiney 8 year old.
At least the movie selection was pleasant and the food was good.
Soon, things were to turn ugly. The flight—delayed as it was, and should have been on time for us, was getting even more behind. It seems that Heathrow was covered in fog. To me, fog isn’t so bad, it’s like a little cloud, just makes driving a little bit of a hassle.
A click and the dulcet tones of the captain would come on. “Good evening ladies and gentleman, I hope you are having a very pleasant evening. We are making our way towards the UK, but it seems that we are encountering some troubles on the ground and we maybe a little late. Nothing to worry about I’m sure, and if there is anything we can do to make your flight easier, please don’t hesitate to ask. We will land just as soon as we are able.”
Um. Yeah. You could land my plane on time you tea drinking limey bastard.
It was the fog though. Nothing the tea drinking limey bastard at the helm of this plane could do about it.
“Ladies and gentleman, this is the captain from the flight deck again, please pardon the intrusion. I want to give you an update—it seems Heathrow is just socked in with fog and they are having to delay landings. Keep in mind all planes are having to be delayed. We are so very, very sorry for this delay, but it just can’t be helped. And again, if there is anything we can do to make your flight easier, please don’t hesitate to ask. If there are any more updates I’ll announce them just as soon as I can.”
I have never encountered British fog. The British, they know how to do fog. It was thick. It was grey. And it was impossibly dense. And planes had a hard time landing. The fog had been there for three days and Heathrow was in chaos. Chaos like I had never seen before.
“Ladies and Gentleman, the captain again, I hope you had a jolly time flying with us, I’m sorry for all the delays, and unfortunately, due to the shut down of Heathrow, of course, which is due to the fog, and not our own inability to schedule planes, we will not be landing at a terminal, but some where out on the tarmack, where a bus will take you to your destination. I do hope you had a pleasant trip and you will fly with us again! Cheerio!”
As we were approaching, it was getting really close to when our flight to Delhi (ah, India!) was going to shut its doors and take off. My wife had convinced the flight crew that we needed to run to get to our connection—so they allowed us to move up to first class.
If you ever get a chance to be in first class—take it. The comfy seats made me forget my connection. Oh, sweet, sweet comfy seats.
Anyway. The plane landed. In the fog. As we went down the steps to the awaiting bus, I could barely make it out, the fog was so thick. And it was chilly. And it was wet. Where had we landed? My wife and I hurry down the ramp, into the bus…and we were off. This didn’t bode well for our connection.
Running through an airport isn’t like the movies. There is no music, there is no grand gesture. It’s: OMG, I have to get to my connection, OMG, I hope security doesn’t think I’m a terrorist. OMG, I hope my heart doesn’t burst.
We ran. We bickered about which way we needed to go. Finally, we found where we needed to go. And of course, had to go through ANOTHER security check in. Which we do. Rapidly. Only to find out…yes…the plane had closed its door…and had taken off.
Next up: Three hours in line! Chaos in Terminal 4! My trip to England! Wait! You said you were going to India!