Nov 14, 2011

Must remember safety pins

Typically whenever I blog about a Chennai trip it involves a road trip. This time though I took the plane to go to Chennai. I have a history of arriving at the airport well ahead of time and then somehow managing to be the last passenger in. Last time, thoroughly lost in some random book, I was startled by the 'last call for passenger radhika'. Then the time in Florida when I arrived so ahead of time, I spent about an hour sitting on a nice recliner reading a book. I was still the last passenger in because that time I managed to mix up the arrival time of another airplane and departure of my plane to/from the same place. And then that flight from San Jose when I realized just before boarding that I had lost my phone. I ran the length of the airport and managed to come back with the phone just before they closed the gate, completely out of breath I should add.

So this time I parked myself near the gate, set alarms on my phone and was totally alert. The old man next to me suddenly stood up and sort of gestured a  request asking me to watch his luggage and vanished in the direction of the loo. I vaguely thought about luggage from strangers etc., but wasn't really perturbed. Five minutes later I wondered if I should be worried. Ten minutes passed. Either the man had a really upset stomach or something sinister was going on. The queue rapidly dwindled and everyone but me seemed to go enthusiastically down the stairs to catch the bus [to the plane]. I stood up, fidgeted, looked pointedly at the airline staff but no luck. And then at last just before the airline staff member plucked the mic to call for my name, the old man arrived. I ran to the podium.

On the way back, for the first time I was late. Thanks to a wedding in a politician's family and rain, I arrived about five minutes before they closed check in. Apparently they don't do tele-checkin, despite my pleading. I ran to the podium and my sandals broke. If it were a bus, or even a train, I would have chucked my sandals in the nearest bin and ran barefoot. I did run to the podium holding my sandals but after checkin, tried to hold the broken strap with my big toe as I hobbled to security. My churidhar was knee deep in dirt thanks to the rain, hair was streaming all over my face and with the broken sandals that I was dragging my foot on, I must have looked quite a site.

It was so mortifying and embarrassing that I kept low even when the man next to me said some provoking stuff about the 'woman' pilot in his last plane. 

November 14, 2011