I arrived in India today with two others from the office on business, a 10,000 mile flight from Iowa to Chicago, Frankfurt and Pune. Here through the end of October, longer if I lose the passport.
My posts on B&P are usually random with wild topics swings, but for the next few weeks, I'll try to focus on putting out short, real-time posts about my experience in India. I'll be working long hours during the week at the office and may have limited time to blog, so keep an eye on Facebook for quick updates.
Mr. Sandman is trying to drop me with the 10.5 hour loss, might as well cut another post to lighten the eyelids...here's how Day 1 went down.
I'm used to walking, driving or flying in econo' class on trips, caught between a smelly crapper and a jet engine on our flight to Florida this summer.
This was my first doing business class, a puddle jumper brought us O'Hare. The United lounge was wrapped in teak, wine and plasmas. Pigtails and I don't even order a Coke when we eat out to save money, this coddling was all new to me.
Five hours to kill in Chicago. I mostly ate.
Our red-eye to Frankfurt departed at 11:00 pm. The electro-seat was tricked out, a remote control summoned a butt massage, movies and an origami-flop into a bed. The thing was on hydraulics, all it needed was a horn that plays La Cucaracha.
Soft wafts of German perfume and gah-shlick accents on the flight attendants was endearing. The Lufthansa 747 was a big boy, felt like we were floating in the bow of a blimp.
Servers set down plate after plate: leafy greens with wine sauce, spicy prawns, baked chicken with black beans, smoked deli meat and Bavarian sweet finishes. 2:00 am, no appetite and they're carting out creamed halibut again? Shrug and take it, Lufthansa is Deutsch for chubby.
The German dude next to me was well dressed and an ambitious nose picker. He startled mid-sleep on the flight and knocked his water glass off the table to the floor by me. It shattered and sprayed shards. As I summoned the stewardess for help, Sergeant Nostril Digger moved my glass over to his side so it looked like I broke my glass. Sheesh.
The time shuffle messes with your bio-clock, even my watch was confused and displayed a question mark. An 8-hour flight would put you in Germany at 7:00 am, but the zone put us at 1:00 pm.
Frankfurt's lounge was domestic brews, franks and lattes on demand. Za dog and suds went down, glätten.
German engineering is tough to beat, the toilets were bad-ass with a robo' arm that popped up, twirled the seat, sprayed disinfectant and dried it, all in 10 seconds. Beats the brown-smear mess at most American public stink-pits. I'll take one for the team and bring the iPad into the throne on the return through Frank' to film it.
The flight from Frankfurt to Pune was more of the same, another 8-hours mostly at night, arriving at 3:30 am. The food selection migrated east, curried fish, naan and Darjeeling black tea on the tray.
I fought sleep on the bird to Europe, trying to force my clock to Pune's, then attempted REM on the push to India. Got about 4 hours altogether, that's plenty.
Looking out the window on the outskirts of Pune as the plane descended, the nighttime twinkle was a mixture of electric lights and bonfires. The overlap of old and new, the have-nots with the haves is perplexing and severe to westerners.
More to say, but time for bed. It's 1:00 pm back home right now, 11:30 pm here, my body thinks it's time for lunch, but tomorrow will go better if I try for sleep now.
The hotel is nice.
Click over to Facebook for pics of today's walk.