Friday, August 1, 2008

Be careful what you wish for cos you just might get it

My life is going nowhere. I'm falling through a bottomless pit. There is no end to this mundane routine, cycles of waking up, wasting time, going to sleep and waking up again. I was bored to death. So, I asked Bahavaan to spice up my life a tad and boy was he listening to me that day.

First, my flight gets canceled due to some crazy transportation strike in Frankfurt and I leave India a day later. The Lufthansa people were responsible enough and they planned to re-route us through Brussels in a Jet Airways flight.

The next day when I entered the airport, I found that there was no Baggage Screening for Jet Airways passengers and being the hard-to-please customer that I am, I wanted to know why they did not have this service.

Me (indignant): Why don't you have Baggage Screening here?

Official: Baggage Screening for Jet Airways is online Sir.

Me: How will you notify the person if he is carrying any malicious goods if you guys are screening it just before loading?

Official (face slightly serious/scared): We will call him up Sir (sheepish look). Why do you ask? (scared)

Me: No reason, was just concerned about my security, that's all. (victorious look)

And that's that.

There are several other ways that conversation could have ended. Am glad it ended the way it did and not somewhere in a dinghy interrogation room (I shall refer to this interrogation room several times in the course of my life as I'll never learn to keep my mouth shut).

Ok, so we leave India with the promise that everything is taken care by Lufthansa and all that we have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the flight (you know for sure something wrong is going to happen if somebody makes that statement).

2 movies later, we land at Brussels with the hope that Delta Airlines offers as good a service as Jet and things would go as smoothly as it went with Jet. Lufthansa promised us that the 3rd baggage allowance would be taken care of by them and we would'nt have to worry about that. The catch here is that they gave a promise by word which obviously did not hold good with the Delta guys and we ended up paying $200 each for the excess baggage. Rip off! Saddened by the loss of the weight in our pockets we took a resolution to get our money back (refer Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less - ofcourse here we're just planning to scan the receipt and get the money reimbursed, but nevertheless).

Atlanta! We reached the U.S of A and were whisked off to Immigration and Passport Control. I happened to have only a copy of my I20 and not the original (which was 'safe' in my check-in luggage. Ashwin (my room-mate) voiced out his singularly remarkable thought - "Macha, what if you had lost the luggage which had your I20 da. Hehe". I almost collapsed). I realized then that there are just 2 things that you require if you want to enter and stay in the U.S - your Passport and your I20. The Immigration Official promptly tore my copy and asked me to head over to Customs to get my I20 stamped. I got my bags from the Baggage Claim, took my I20 and typically went back to Passport Control (thinking it was the easy way out) and the Immigration Official was like "Whut did I jest tell you? I asked you to go to Customs and re-process your Immigration". Me (smiling): Saary, Saar. At Customs I was expecting to get detained for quite a while and started imagining the whole interrogation room scene. But I got off pretty easily and left the scene.

It just keeps getting better. We came out of the airport to find that it's a boiling 35 degrees Celsius and we were experiencing Madras weather. It shoots up to 45 C during summers. Lovely! A kind senior dropped us home and helped bring our luggage inside and told us that he's been mugged 4 times in a relatively safe part of town. We were in a highly unsafe zone compared to his but the reassuring part is even the safe part of town is unsafe :) so we kinda accepted our surroundings and did not consider moving.

On the whole, I know that I was pretty eager to get my life going and make it more eventful but next time I guess I should leave Bahavaan out of this because I think He has a soft corner for me and is quite generous to go out of his way to make my life 'happening'. Thank you Lord!