Saturday, January 20, 2007

Off To India

After an early morning of packing, unpacking, repacking and getting myself ready for the temporary move to Delhi, I was off to the airport to navigate the massive crowds created by the cancellations from the day before due to the major storm that hit northern Europe. Chaos doesn’t begin to describe the scene at the KLM check-in counter and just when I was about to lose my patience, I realized that as hectic as it may be, it was nothing compared to what was waiting for me at the other end of the flight. After checking in, I met Ulco and Mark who shoved me on the plane and tearfully waved goodbye… The flight was delayed by 90 minutes, and then after we boarded, we stayed at the gate for 40 more due to the air traffic computers being down. Once the computers were back up, we sat on the runway only to hear that our flight did not exist in their system, so back to towards the gate and then eventually, after a total of 3 hours delay, I was on my way.

I think tickets to my flight were sold with a family discount. I have never seen so many toddlers on one flight in my life. One would cry and that would set off the whole chain of reaction and soon the plane was a screaming mess. No sleep for me, so read in my new book “Fashion Babylon”. As you can imagine, screaming children and reading don’t really mix too well, so I decided to stick to the fashion theme and watch “The Devil Wears Prada” which is not so entertaining the second time around. That basically sums up my flight. Except to say that I think I had the most uncomfortable chair in the history of airline seats. I even switched seats and there was no difference.

On arrival, passport control and baggage claim were a breeze, unlike my last visit when the power went out 3 times while waiting for the luggage. Then it was out to the arrivals hall to look for the people sent to pick me up. Suddenly the calm of the baggage center was a distant memory as the tsunami of name boards came racing toward me. Hundreds and hundreds of them, no exaggeration. I quickly recognized one of the people that was there to meet me and before I knew it, we were in the car weaving in and out of traffic, dodging dogs and getting honked at all the way to the flat where I will spend the next few weeks before moving to a new location.

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