Sunday, 27 September 2009

FLYING TO SAMYUKTA



It was like never before – we had reached a new high(?!) in leaving for the airport at night to catch the 1.40 am Lufthansa flight from Chennai to Newark via Frankfurt.

I have never enjoyed this travelling overseas business, the red tape unnerves me. Filling in forms is a nightmare, and at the other end I dread immigration and customs. And I always wonder why Scottie can’t be around, to beam me up.

We had to wait a bit to check in, but after that it wasn’t too bad, though of course I missed the comfort of my bed where I would rather have been at that hour. Only the thought of the great pleasure waiting for us at the end of the trip kept me going.

As usual I had asked for a window seat, and as usual all that I could see out of it was the wing of the plane. It never ceases to amaze me how I consistently get such window seats.

Our seats had blankets and pillows but no courtesy package of toothpaste toothbrush and bed socks normally provided by the airlines on these long hauls. My sister-in-law who was traveling with us asked the air hostess why there was no pouch and had got the reply that the airline was economising. Economising! I was glad we got some food and was relieved to see that I had my own private mini screen to watch movies on – the flight would not be so boring after all.

The journey was a comfy one though a bit squishy. Lean forward and you bumped into the headrest of the seat ahead of you, lean back and you bumped into the knees of the person sitting behind. Was Lufthansa economizing on space as well? How would we manage to open out the little tables fitted into the back of the seat ahead of us?

A long break of five hours at Frankfurt - it was quite uneventful - and we were on the next lap of our journey, which was shorter by two hours. And this time too there were no pouches with toothpaste and brushes, and worse still, no choice of movies or private screen for the Economy Class – economy had begun right here

We were in Newark after a peaceful flight, which is what one ultimately wants really, cleared immigration - time consuming because of the fingerprinting and having our mugshots taken, and answering questions like the why and wherefore of
our visit, and previous visits - got our passports stamped. Next was baggage collection and customs and we were finally out, and received by my son and daughter-in-law.

And soon we were winging our way home to meet the newest member of the family, granddaughter Samyukta.

That is her in her stroller on the waterfront in Jersey city, with New York across the Hudson.

23 comments:

Sunita said...

The thought of such a long flight unnerves me. The thought of being strapped into such a tiny space would make me rethink my flight plans.If it had happened to an animal, all the animal activists would've protested and demonstrated against it, you can be sure! A few luxuries such as movies on flight would've gone a long way to ease one's misery, right?
Pity!
Well, at least they didn't make the passengers push the plane to start it. (ooops! I shouldn't be giving them ideas)
Have fun pampering Samyukta. That would make it all worthwhile, hmmm?

raghu raman said...

deadly mocktail of 'security' and 'cost cutting'...

Prema said...

I can understand. I went to India in August. It took 2.5 hours for the suitcase to arrive on the conveyor belt at Kozhikode airport, this is after the long lines for H1N1 testing and the immigration. One would think they would have a sign for 'foreigners' line, you realize that there is a separate line only when you arrive at the window. My only suitcase was small enough for cabin luggage from Newark to Dubai, but check-in from Dubai to Kozhikode. Figure that one. Nightmare!

Kamini said...

As one who has made this journey countless times, I can sympathize fully. I just keep telling myself: no gain without pain!
Have a lovely time with the family. And see you soon!!

Blogeswari said...

Tell me about it. Emirates-la 3-4-3 seating arrangement - 8 hour flight from Mumbai. Absolutely no leg space! arrggh!

flowergirl said...

Hope you are having a wonderful time with Samyukta, now that you have braved the crossing!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to America.
The Land of the Free

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

That's what cattle class is about, and by the tail of the Holy Cow, that's the remark Tharoor made and got himself into hot water! Wow, have not flown Lufthansa, like in 15 years, been spoiled on Asian carriers like SIA so much, thanks for the tip I won't bother flying Lufthansa in future, I can't do without movies.
I can't still get over looking at NY skyline without the twin towers.

All the best with Samyukta, what a lovely name, must be a lovely little baby as well. Enjoy the USA, even after countless trips there from 23 years, I still enjoy going there.

Anonymous said...

What does Samyukta think of Obama's healthcare plan?

T and S said...

I m sure the long flight was worth tolerating given the fact that Samyukta was waiting at the other end of it.

Nagesh.MVS said...

What does Samyukta think of Obama's healthcare plan?

Work From Home

Maddy said...

welcome here...we are in the midst of all the planning for the move in Oct, hope u have an enjoyable time..

rgds

Lux said...

Hi!

Welcome to jersey city!I am an ardent fan of yours and majji's blog.

Where do you put up? NewPort??
t -i live very close to newport...Am hoping to bump to you on one of these days.

Howz majji doing?

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

hello raaji maami! :) welcome! Hope ur having amazing fun here with your granddaughter. Do drop by california too, sometime..!!! :-) you could meet all of us too! and wow..u got linkedin application too? I did also! Tell your lil granddaughter I said hi! :)

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Thanks everybody for the sympathetic comments and the welcomes. The discomfort/nightmare was only for a day, and it is fun to be with Samyukta.

Lux, how nice that you live here. Do mail me at rajimuth@gmail.com, and we could make that 'bumping into' intentional. and you can have all news in person.

Lakshmi, you are so sweet. Our plans here are still fluid, and who knows, we might turn up there.

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Viji said...

I too always get that seat over looking that dull steel expanse blocking any view whatever - your sister in errr wings !!

Indrani said...

Reading this quite late...
I am sure you must be having a great time with your grand daughter.

radha said...

Came over from Indrani's Ishare. Nice blog. And yes, one shares the same views with you on traveling. I love the idea of seeing the world, but the forms, the travel ( both to the airport and beyond) are hurdles that can be quite trying.

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