Thursday Tidbits

Posted on October 27, 2016 under Storytelling with 14 comments

bound-for-india

 

The first part of the journey is over….travelling to India. Next up is the adventure of discovering a new country and a completely different culture.

Most times, the precursor to a long trip is a lousy sleep. Mission accomplished. Five hours of fitful sleep and I finally gave up at 4:00 a.m. ( Tuesday 25th. ). I flew to Toronto late afternoon and spent a lovely seven hours hanging out at Pearson airport, that wonderful, warm architectural edifice that only the owner could love.

They have done a “ do over” of the International departure area and it is actually quite pleasant. However, despite the hordes of people and the dizzying array of flights to every corner of the globe, it was surprisingly quiet. It didn’t take me long to figure out what was going on. At every departure lounge, there were hundreds of small work stations with free Ipads. There was virtually no other seating…. None of those nice high back chairs to pass away the time.

Every single human being that wasn’t in a lineup getting to board a flight had their nose pressed to one or more electronic devices. And guess what? To ensure that you didn’t have to interact with any of those annoying human beings, you could place an order at one of the food kiosks or restaurants without having to get off your butt. All you had to do was go to the restaurant menus conveniently located on the home page of the Ipad and presto, you could place your order… and pay for it with a credit card machine sitting right beside the ipad.

It looked like zombie world. I know this is progress but there was zero human contact. No one was talking with anyone else.

Thirteen hours on a plane. I know that many of you have travelled to places like Australia that are long haul flights but this was a first for me. And boarding a plane at 11:00 at night, feeling like one of the aforementioned zombies, was thought provoking. I knew that I would get some sleep and sure enough I nodded off before we even taxied down the runway.

Then a funny thing happened. After previously dimming the lights so that people could sleep, at 1:00 a.m., exactly two hours into the flight, the lights came on and we were served a hot dinner. I have never knowingly ( maybe when I was a student at X?! ) eaten creamed chicken and soggy veggies at this ungodly hour.

There were several infants on the plane, some of them conveniently located a mere row away from me.

There were a few fairly decent crying attacks, one lasting 7.5 hours and the other, 5.5 hours. I’m exaggerating of course but not by a whole lot. There weren’t many quiet moments on the trip. One poor little guy obviously had some kind of ailment and repeatedly coughed and sneezed non stop ( every six seconds…I counted! ) for three solid hours. Instead of sleeping I watched reruns of Big Bang Theory and 2 Broke Girls. Desperate times call for desperate measures! And before you could say “ Wake up Little Susie”, they were serving cold cut sandwiches at 5:00 a.m. ,Toronto time.

Oh yes. We played a game of “seat swap” with my two seatmates, a middle aged man and a ten year old girl, both Sri Lankans. The little girl couldn’t quite decide where she wanted to sit and repeatedly asked to move. Doing this in a bus is one thing but inside a sardine can is quite another. I’m wondering if Air Canada could possibly make it any more uncomfortable for flying?

I must  say that their map of the route is impressive. It was very interesting crossing wide swaths of Europe and seeing places that you’ve heard of hundreds of times. Our path took us near Turkey and Syria which got my attention. The cities of Aleppo and Ankara both popped up… places where the Almashhouds lived before moving to Canada.

Have a great weekend.

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Comments

14 Responses to Thursday Tidbits

  1. Carmen says:

    Len,

    I don’t know about you but I always feel sorry for those poor parents and breathe a sigh of relief that I’m not responsible for them (on those long flights).

    Enjoy your stay and looking forward to hearing tales from “Len’s Indian adventure”. 🙂

  2. What an experience!!! Be safe!

  3. Week 45 says:

    I have the first chapter of my book about India already written. The second chapter will be about the trip itself. On the last leg of the trip ( Dubai to Hyderabad ) I lucked out again. After being up 40+ hours there was another screaming baby right in front of me again. The open bar looked inviting!!!

  4. Shirley Brown says:

    Have a safe , enjoyable learning adventure Len . I look forward to hearing about it all in your stories !

  5. Miriam Gillis says:

    Let us hope that there are more pleasant experiences to come your way on this journey to a land that will offer much food for thought. May the adventures that await you be rewarding and fruitful. You are a brave man, Len. We send best wishes with you.

  6. Dear heavens! I hope you can get some sleep soon. Note: take noise blocking earplugs with you on the plane when you return home!

    • Week 45 says:

      Oh, I had those Lynda but these kids were screeching. They must have been having terrible ear problems

    • I know the sound. Once on a flight MUCH SHORTER than yours – Montreal to Halifax – a poor little child literally screeched the whole trip. I thought my head might burst. The pressure in the cabin does bother the ears of children and they don’t know how to cope. (Dear parents – just rub a drop of eucalyptus oil behind your child’s ear when flying. Works great on adults, too.)

  7. Beth Hodder says:

    I’m enjoying your trip so far even laughing about your air flight to India but laughing in a nice way.Keep the stories coming

  8. Jean Chisholm says:

    Quite interesting trip so far Len !! Great Read !! Stay safe and we will be waiting for more news !!

  9. Joan MacNeil says:

    Glad you arrived safely. Looking forward to reading about your adventures.

  10. Toni MacDonell says:

    That was a most interesting account of your flight. I’m looking forward to hearing about what you found when you landed. LYL, Toni

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