Listening to: Fall to Pieces by Velvet Revolver. Love them.
Pardon me. I seem to have forgotten I have a blog. Or I’m just lazy. Probably the latter. So no worries, mom, we are all still alive and kicking.
We have arrived in India (or landed up, as the natives say) and have been staying with my inlaws for the past 2 months. We got lucky, my inlaws have a beautiful old free-standing house with enough room to house us and all our chaos and stuff. Knock on wood, only minor sniffles so far and no stomach flues or parasites or anything fun like that.
We took Etihad for our flight to India. We left from JFK in NYC and made a very brief layover in Abu Dhabi and on to Hyderabad. Etihad was a nice airline to fly on. There wasn’t much leg room, but then again, welcome to airlines when you’re cheap. We weren’t going to buy first class tickets. Anyhow, the flight went well, the food was good, and went off pretty seamlessly.
The Abu Dhabi airport is crazy clean, neat and orderly, but it was a VERY long walk between our gates. We ended up not even spending any time sitting in the airport after we got through security. We did go through another metal detector and body search even though we had just gotten off a plane from New York. Whatever, I’m all for planes not blowing up. We were transferred at the gate to a bus that went to our plane. Indian behavior started the minute we got on the bus. We were asked to check one of our bags by a random official before we got on the bus. This case happened to hold all of our passports/important documents/my jewelry. There was no way in Denver we were letting that suitcase out of sight, so we just pulled off the tag on the bus and took it on the plane with us. This is the Indian way. Some lucky bugger also got a handful of my backside. I wish I would have caught him, but no harm done. We were in Abu Dhabi in the middle of the night, which was rather disappointing. I’ve been wanting to go there my entire life just because the name is so cool, but there was nothing to see beyond some far away lights. The plane from there to Hyderabad wasn’t as nice, but it was a short flight and the food was still good. I ended up eating more lamb biryani (what I had on the first flight) because they ran out of chicken, but it was fine because for plane food, that was some awesome biryani. Biryani is basmati rice with lots of spicy chicken/lamb/beef and sauce all mixed together. It is one of my favorite things on the earth to eat. In the past 10 years of knowing my husband, I’ve become somewhat of a spice junky.
We landed up in the Hyderabad airport, which was completely different from the last time we came because they built a new airport. I’m pretty sure this one would be a lot harder to sneak out of and walk out a back door that no one bothered watching. Not that we did that or anything. Customs was relatively un-busy as we landed around 4 am local time. The customs agent that waited on us was tired, but polite and quick. Another change from last time – the last guy was incredibly rude and dismissive. All of our suitcases followed us again without a hitch. It still baffles me that they lose suitcases in the US, but we’ve never lost one internationally. We left without being mobbed by beggars and prostitutes too, which is yet another change from last time. A few Muslim girls started talking to me which was a little disconcerting because you always wonder what people want when they talk to you randomly, but I think it was just curiosity and my holding hands with a cute little girl (my daughter). After an hour ride, we were at my husband’s parents’s home, safe and sound with all our luggage.
Since India is almost exactly on the other side of the world from the US, the jet lag is brutal. It took us almost a full week before we were able to go about our daily lives without randomly falling asleep every time we sat still.