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.