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!


Akshay said...

"Macha, what if you had lost the luggage which had your I20 da. Hehe"

I wish I had told you about the time my brother's suitcases were missing when he came to India once.


Anyways, about mugging : remember training is nothing, will is everything. Go learn Keysi Fighting Method

And have you contacted Lufthansa about the reimbursal?

Vishnu Anand said...

Hey. Yeah da. I need to scan a few docs and send them across. They're bound to reimburse and even pay some compensation. Let's see.

Wat happened to your bro's suitcases. Truly terrifyin g thought to lose the i20 da...

Keysi reminds me.. I watched Dark Knight today da... I realized how pathetic the audio was back at home cos I was able to understand it fully only now :)

vidyuth said...

haha @ ashwin's comment.. and amazingly well written post, i never knew you had to shell out 200 bucks! (i say bucks because now, they actually mean dollars, so very happy) anyway, what the hell, you never told me you were gonna watch the dark knight again?! idiot X-(.. but yes, keep it coming, this way we get a full insight into life in the yoonided states of amayrica!

Vishnu Anand said...

yeah da.. the movie was unbeeleevable. and yeah am gettin used to callin dollars bucks too.. funny feelin.. i had the greatest sub today at a place called quizmo's. was the best ever sub ever

vidyuth said...

quizmo's, sounds very apt haha.. good to know you're jolly adichifying

Anirudh said...

hey machi... super post da now tht u in the us of a u can probably post more often!! so u spending after conversion to indian rupee or already accustomed to the living rates??

sai... comfortably dumb said...

watt?? $200????? u guys could've pooled in that money and chartered a flight to ur home! bloody basket balls.. :) US seems to have a nice way of welcoming ppl these days.. and trust ashwin to screw things up by saying the wrong thing at the right time ha ha ha.. wish it'd happened to him.. :) :) :)

Vivek said...

I remember when I was detained at the airport in muscat..
It was a regular screening of baggage and after that was complete, at immigration the guy (Royal Omani Police) took my passport and asked me to walk with him to another room.
They further questioned me on the reason for my social visit etc. They then just took a photo stat of my passport and let me go..Shocking moments esp in a strict country (These guys locked up a granny with cough syrup since it contained poppy seeds as ingredients) and eventually its an experience. So always shave and wear your best shirt!

Vivek said...

dude you could always learn judo, Mua thai, taekwando, karate , kungfu , jujitsu, ninjitsu and other very DANGEROUS words!

Subash Shekar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Subash Shekar said...

nice da.. expecting more of this from you.. but getting mugged would make really good blog material.. dont ya think.. and make sure u take ashwin with you wherever you go.. maybe he can talk them to death.. god i miss the life's a bitch-i m a loser (and yet covered with a sense of been there-done that attitude) conversations we guys used to have...

sahitya said...

hey vishnu!!

well written.... i guess you had a preety unforgetable trip.... missing you... no clue on how to use skype:) do call sometime or try making it online...

take care... lv ya


Anonymous said...

Vishnu Anna! I had no clue that you had a blog!
how come you didn't tell me?


aashi said...

hey nic post;)
visitin ur blog for the first time..hmmm in the US huh! kool..
all d best:)
btw I luvd d taamil touch here n der..hehe bahavaan n all tht..gosh! gt me giggling..hehe..:P

Anonymous said...

Preeti here.

You know, you can type in tami on your blog? just go to settings and you can enable it. That's what I do.

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know, I am both Jade and Princess Leia. I changed my name a couple times.

Mr. Imperious said...

lol... awesome... 200 bucks... thats like 10,000 rupees..

[typical indian behaviour eh??:P:P]

Anonymous said...


UPDATE YOUR BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!