Friday, April 4, 2008

this was written a few days ago...

...on our first "night."

*****

So, we’re in India, finally “settled” for the first night. It’s apparently 4:30 pm in the States, and it’s 3 am here. And it’s been one helluva long day! I am having so much difficulty comprehending where I am in space and time. Literally.

The travel process was arduous. I’ve done the “one-leg” international flight before, which is disorienting enough, but we ended up traveling for about 26 hours total. Here is my quick synopsis of our travel experience:

Kansas City: quick and efficient. It always is at MCI.

DC: I find out I had left my luggage sticker on the last flight. Oops. We transfer from United to Lufthansa, a German airline. The Lufthansa lady doesn’t seem too concerned that I don’t have my luggage sticker.

Frankfurt: Well, at first, it was really nice being in Germany, if only at the airport…reminded me of the good ol’ days when I was there in 2002. UNTIL we realize that…ugh. I don’t even want to go into it. Suffice it to say that it is the WORST airport I have been in, ever, and I am going to try to avoid it (and Lufthansa, though I don’t know if they are entirely to blame) from now on if I can help it. (they basically don’t have anywhere to sit in the airport, and won’t let you sit at your gate, and they are SO rude, etc.)

(When in Frankfurt, though, I had the opportunity to witness dozens of Hasidic Jews [I am assuming they were Hasidic based upon my reading of Chaim Potok] pray together, which is a big affair involving props such as boxes and ropes of leather and odd clothing garments, and lots of chanting. It was awesome. Plus there were lots of these cute little Jewish families…very young couples with infants. I was enchanted.)

Flight to Chennai was fine…aisle seat with an open seat next to me (awesome). I slept about 7 of the 8 hours (which was great considering I had hardly slept at all on the first flight). I had Indian food for dinner and German tea for dessert. Excellent.

Then we get to Chennai…wait for the bags…and mine is not there. Not. There. Soooo we had to go through this big ordeal with the Lufthansa people, which seemed inordinately inefficient and unproductive (I JUST NEED YOU TO TYPE MY NAME INTO A COMPUTER AND TELL ME WHERE MY BAG IS, IS THAT SO HARD?). So I won’t know any information until tomorrow morning at the earliest. Fortunately, the person we are staying with (Kandasami, one of our independent auditors) is extremely well connected and was pulling as many strings as he could with the staff in Chennai, even made calls to DC. So we’ll see what happens. Until then, I am stuck with my computer (which is why you get a blog!) and purse…which has…a toothbrush, and a little bit of money. Sigh. We might go buy me some clothes tomorrow.

So, I’m now in Chennai, staying at the home of Preethi, Kandasami, and Venita. I don’t have many impressions of India yet, as it’s the middle of the night (and I am so not tired…), but love it (and the people, particularly the ones we’re staying with, these people get hospitality better than anyone else I know) so far. We start meeting with people tomorrow here in Chennai, then travel to Vellore the next day…so I hope my bag turns up by then!

<3>

1 comment:

Kyria said...

Interesting to know.