I had a pleasant flight departing from Victoria on Aug 7 at 1:30 PM pacific time, then a had 3 hour wait in Seattle. At 5:45 I boarded a large and very modern Boeing 777 for the 14 hour flight to Dubai.
The bad part, I got stuck in a middle seat in the middle rows.
The good part, on one side no one was sitting and on the other was a very interesting Grandmother from Seattle who was on an adventure of her own to Ethiopia. Her daughter is adopting a child there and is stuck with paperwork and government delays, and feeling a bit worried. So Grandma to the rescue! She pushed aside her fears and booked a ticket immediately. It seemed se was more than a bit apprehensive about her trip, but it was clear that she would do anything to support her daughter.
The flight to Dubai was much less painful than I though a 14 hour airplane confinement might be J. The Dubai airport seems to be the most modern airport in the world. Like the title says, and the pictures imply, Steel, Chrome, Glass and Lights everywhere.
In DBX I started to look around for Claudia, who I knew was going to be on this same last flight as I. After a bit of searching around the gate I gave up expecting our paths would not cross until we got off and started to search for our driver pickup.
BUT… it seems luck was once again with me and it turned out that Claudia sat down only two seats over from me in the plane! It was great to meet her, and she seems just as excited as I am to be on this grand adventure.
The flight to Mumbai was uneventful, and we touched down at around 4am. Customs presented no barriers and with the heavy thud of the immigration officer’s stamp our India experience officially began!
As promised Shruti (our local contact) and a driver were waiting for us holding a large sign so we did not become overwhelmed as we entered the “Arrival Lobby” are of the airport which feels much like a boxing ring with people on all sides waiting to pickup their charges.
The Mumbai the temperature was very bearable and there was only light rain, and we drove to the hotel in what could only be described as light traffic. I was beginning to think that my preconceived notions of heat and traffic might be wrong. Shruti assured me that they were not and that later in the day the more characteristic Bombay would emerge.
I went to bed in the hotel at 4:45 am local time, (27 hours traveling – not bad!) and awoke at 9am local time hopefully early enough in the day to reset my body clock.
Anyway, I’m going to sign off for now. I’m here safe, sound and beginning to engage the new world I have entered!