Okay, so here is the start of my India blog. I promised Edith and the kids that I would take lots of pictures and put them up here. Feel free to skip ahead and just look at the pictures if I get boring.
March 13 (Friday the 13th)
5:15 - I wake up to get ready to go after getting to sleep after midnight while packing. Getting 5 hours of sleep is not a recommended way to start a 28 hour flight to India. Thanks, Edith, for helping me pack.
5:50 - Edith drives me to the airport (thanks again).
7:00 - I say goodbye to Edith at the airport. This will be the longest we've ever been apart since being married.
7:10 - My passport won't scan at the kiosk for some reason, even for the agent that came to help me, so she let me skip the long line and checked my baggage for me.
7:20 - I arrive at the gate and try for an hour to get my laptop to connect to the Internet through my phone. No luck
8:40 - We take off. I have always loved this part of the flight. The rush of takeoff is awesome, especially when I have a window seat like I did on this flight, and can watch the ground drop away from me. Call me crazy but I also really like turbulence. I figure people pay lots of money to go ride the rides at an amusement park, so why do they complain when the plane does the same thing to their stomach? I don't like landings so much.
8:50 We fly east and I can see my house. Well, not so much my house but the valley. I'm sure if I had really strong binoculars I could pick out my house.
I watched "City of Ember" and an episode of "The Office" on the little screen in the seat in front of me. At some point during the flight we flew over Des Moines and fairly close to Pittsburgh. We went through a bit of Canada and finally landed in New York. At this point I'm going to stop with the time because time started to have no meaning.
I knew we were in New York because everyone was wearing black. We had to switch terminals and go through security (again) and got sent to 5 different gates before we finally settled on a flight. Couldn't find any power outlets to charge the laptop, but since I was too cheap to pay $10 for wireless access, it didn't matter much. Lunch was $14 for a sandwich, and bottle of water and some cake. At least work is paying for it.
The flight to Paris on Air France was interesting. I read some, watched "Ghost Town" on the little screen in the seat in front of me, and ate some really good food. Even on airline flights, the French food is good.
I slept a little, the kind of sleep where you can't tell if you have slept or not and you feel a bit delirious.
We arrived in Paris around 7:00 their time and had to catch a bus to another terminal. We had to go through security for the third time and since I forgot to take my phone out of my pocket, I got a very thorough pat-down by the security guy. At least we didn't have to take our shoes off for this one.
Again no wireless in the airport so we waited until the pastry shop opened and Randy changed some money and bought me a pastry.
Before the plane took off, one of the flight attendents came down the aisle spraying a constant cloud of something through the air that filled the whole cabin. The announcement came that it was bug spray and was "harmless" but I breathed through my shirt for a while anyway. I try to avoid inhaling pesticides as much as possible.
On the flight to Chennai I was really tired so I slept quite a bit at the beginning. I watched most of Gandhi on my phone, which Randy had ripped and given me a copy of. I got through about 2 hours before the battery ran out and we were about to land anyway.
We went through the long lines at customs, security (again), at the baggage claim, and at the money exchange. Then went out to find our drivers holding up signs with our names on them. It was 2:30 in the morning (Sunday morning) but there were a lot of people out. We checked into the hotel and I immediately signed up for Internet and called Edith and the kids. It was great to talk to them. I didn't feel that tired but I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.