Monday, October 03, 2011

Where My History Begins: I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane 9/29/11

Arrived at Bombay's international airport about 1:40AM so we could get to our gate in time with all the enhanced security measures. Having to zigzag past armed guards and barricades wasn't necessarily the enhanced security measures I was expecting, but hey, you do what you have to do. Don't I feel safer?

The airport was crowded, people lining the drive waiting, apparently. And there we were, 5 women sticking out like sore thumbs with no idea where to go. Finally, we found a nicely suited woman who told us to roll past the people standing and head to the security guards to gain entrance into the airport.

I handed my passport and itinerary to a tall Sikh guard, who checked out my documents, mumbled something to me, which I didn't understand then let me go through. off to find the Etihad gate. Suitcase check through to DFW, backpack and personal bag to immigration.

Didn't really want to leave but can't really stay. The immigration folks aren't particularly pleasant. Even a thank you and a smile only received the head nod. Don't worry, it's all good. Waiting for the rest of the group because the Indians have never seen a Mexican traveling there before.

Traipsing to the gate...whoohoo 2 hour wait until boarding time. Oh look, security. Men to the left, ladies to the right. 4 magnetometers for the men, maybe 2 for the women. One of the men has me put my bags on his conveyor and tells me to go around...dang shoes set the mag off again. Whoohoo another wand search and pat down.

Make it through, but tags on the handcarry bags have to be stamped. Two guards, five feet away from where they were just stamped are checking to see if they are really stamped before letting you down the escalators to the gates and a very stylishly expensive duty free. Hey folks, I may be American but I still can't afford Coach and if I could I won't pay that kind of money for a bag.

The Etihad folks come gather all of us to take us to the business class lounge. Only after schlepping our bags there and taking a tip, do they say only the two with business class sticker can stay and the rest of us have to pay. Whatever, off we go to the not so pleasant restaurant. We took it for about an hour then moved to look at the gift shops and head for our gate. It's all a blur...I'm so tired..I have been up since 12:30 Wednesday afternoon.

We board the plane. I'm at the window, the middle is empty and there is a woman sitting aisle. I'm staring at the airport and thinking about the week. For reasons unknown to me, my heart is just hurting. Ok, so maybe I know but it's nothing I want to face. We take off and I get a blur shot of the Bombay coast line and in a blink it's gone. Like I had never been there.

And I cried. I stared out the window into the inky black as we fled the rising sun, tears slipping silently down my face. Did I remember to put tissue in my carryon bag? No. Ugh, I'm such a moron.

I'm just sniffling now. Maybe I can watch a movie. I don't recommend the last installment of Pirate of the Caribbean. As much as I love Johnny Depp, horrible movie. Then again, I just wasn't in the mood...I'm staring out the window again, crying.

A three hour flight to Abu Dhabi spent crying intermittently, staring out at the blackness of early morning...I can almost see the clock spinning backwards as we lose time. There has been a star following the plane. "When You Wish Upon A Star" begins rolling through my brain. Really, Disney music?

I'm watching amber lights below as we fly over cities and countries, which ones? I don't know...Places I've never been. Maybe someplace I would like to go.

And the sun is slowly creeping up. I can see a brilliant orange slash across the horizon behind me. My star is going to disappear, but I already made my wish. Maybe when I get to Abu Dhabi, I'll be less sad.

It's surprisingly a very gray dawn rising in the U.A.E. I can't tell if that's the sand blowing or it's a misty morning. Wait, we're in a desert, does it get misty? I don't know.

Apparently, I don't know a lot right now. Too tired to care. My eyes are burning. Not enough sleep and too many tears. Betcha I'm not so beautiful now.

The terminal in Abu is gorgeous with a huge mosaic ceiling in blues and greens. Stunning work. Please just let me get to the gate or get something to eat. Oh great security again. Shoes set it off..yay me. I get a full chest grope. Lady, I promise these are real, contain no liquids or gels and they aren't a bomb making component. But thanks for playing with my boobs, somehow that just makes me feel so much safer...not.

Ohhh the food court..hello remember me, I was here a week ago or so. Yay, wireless! Facebook to update my friends. We eat and play Mexican Train. I'm so tired I'm bordering on babbling. Please time, move. I've left Bombay, just get me home now.

Time to make our way to the gate. Well hello! Mister tall Arab man with your white robes, head dress thing and stylish glasses. You're hot and I'm a hot mess. Why yes, you may look at my boarding pass and passport. Do you happen to have an Arabian stallion and sword parked near by...perhaps a lavishly appointed tent in the desert. Feel free to take me as your willing captive. I promise I clean up nice. Uh oh, channeling way too many romance novels...oh well a girl can fantasize. I do like tall, dark, and handsome men.

Yay, I have a row to myself on the big plane...hey, why is that guy on the other side of the plane staring at me. Yes I know my eyes are red. Yes I know both my arms have mehendi on them. Hey, who is poking my back. are just the cutest little boy I've seen. This should be a nice flight as long as my cutie bug doesn't scream the entire time.

I sleep for a bit, take pictures for a while. Plug in my earphones and listen to tunes. I fall asleep listening to Keith Urban and wake up to "Making Memories of Us" now why the heck is that making me cry?? Maybe I should play some Demon Hunter, that really won't make me cry. Ahh much better. Hey the guy across the plane is staring at me again. Seriously, if he keeps it up, I am going to go over and introduce myself.

15 a plane for more than half a day...that clock in my head continues to spin backwards. I just want to be home. Ohhh look the coast of England, the coast of Ireland, the Atlantic. Newfoundland, Montreal....holy moly, Lake Michigan is HUGE. Chicago! Yes, US soil!! Dinner at Chili's and an ice cold beer.

Board the flight for home...what a miserable experience. American Airlines I HATE YOU!!!! I have a seat and yet some one's bag is in my overhead and you want me to put my backpack with my laptop and other expensive items in the cargo hold? What a stupid airline. And you stupid stupid flight attendant guy...shut up no one thinks you're funny.

I'm lucky enough to be seated in front of a family with a small kid who is continually kicking the back of my seat. I would have thought the glare I gave the dad would have given him the message. Aside from it being a night flight and they don't have the courtesy to lower their voices, and the brat kicking my seat; I'm having a lovely time.

What do you mean there are storms at DFW??? It hasn't rained for months and when I come home we are now in a holding pattern. What do you mean we may have to divert to refuel? Tulsa or Alliance in Fort Worth...hey that's not far from the house. I'm gonna cry...and I do...I put my face in my lap and bawl like a baby. I just want this to be over and I want to be home. I miss Bombay, I'm nearly home...please just let me go home.

Control tower allows us to land priority because of the fuel situation. Yay! Crazy at the airport with all the late flights. My luggage gets there pretty fast. Everything in the backpack is intact. Call my sister to come get me. She's there quickly. I get to mom's do a quick show and tell, take a shower and crash. feels good but I'm not the same girl who left.

1 comment:

In Russet Shadows said...

No, you're not the same person as you were when you left -- you've grown. I like the stream-of-consciousness style you used here, because it feels like the reader was right there with you, marvelling at the sights and suffering security. And hey, depending on the song, Demon Hunter can be tear-inducing! ("Carry Me Down" right?)