Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The duality..

The dual nature of us NRIs (yeah, there I admitted it :-p), always manages to surprise me. As long as we are in the US, we act mostly like Americans, doing our own work, following road rules and basically living the American life. As soon as we are here, our second personality takes over, we drive recklessly shouting at everyone (including the pedestrians who are treated like Gods in the US), let others do our work and basically the inherent Indian within us jumps out and rejoices :-D.

We are as comfortable with dollars as we are with rupees. Our stride doesn't change no matter we are in the most posh of malls there in the US or the dingiest of markets here in India. Yes there are factors which require a few modifications, but we manage to transition into those pretty smoothly too. For example when it comes to being stared at here in India, for me personally, I feel my defenses going up as soon as I land in India and I feel more aware :-\. I am more comfortable in western clothes than in Indian wear, but again I see myself adapt. And this adaptability is what amazes me the most. Its as if we have another face that we know about and bring forward only when required ;-). Its also what makes me question myself - is there anything called a true nature of a person? Hmmm..

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Up in the air..

Thoughts in my head as we crossed the proverbial seven seas to be back home for a month's vacation:

  • How come the increase in the number of suitcases is never proportional to increase in satisfaction? This time Snugli has a ticket and hence an allotment of 2 extra luggage, but still we managed to take the maximum number. Wonder how we managed with only 4 large ones earlier? :-p.

  • The guy had to go and try this just before we were about to travel (yeah, I know I should be glad that he didn't try it in our plane :-p) and thanks to him, the security rules, previously indecipherable are now even more confusing, 'cause we don't know what rule an airport chooses to follow anymore. So we went in literally at 7AM for a 10:30AM flight. Thankfully there weren't many people so we were able to be done with the security check pretty fast. That was the good part, the bad - we not only went through one of the checks in Lexington, but had to go through 2 more in our stopover at Frankfurt, Germany!! Now that was loads of fun with a toddler :-p.

  • Why are stopovers feeling like fitness tests these days? The terminal to terminal walk at Chicago took over 30 min and the one at Frankfurt was atleast 45 min (please excuse double security checks :-p). We did not carry Snugli's stroller with us, but the poor thing walked with us without any complaints. That almost took away our frustrations :).

  • I know I have ranted about this many times, but this is a humble (Bah!) request to airlines. Please think of moms with babies when you are planning a toilet on a plane. Why don't you try this? Carry a screaming toddler into a current plane toilet and help them do their thing and see how comfy the whole experience is. To Snugli's defense, she was scared by the whooshing sound made by the toilet flush and so to quieten her, I had to sing her favourite song ("Aankhon me teri" from Om Shanthi Om) pretty loud (probably all the passengers on the plane can vouch for that :-p). To her credit, the flush didn't really dissuade her from saying "Pee Potty" whenever she had to go and I am so proud of her :).

  • Deepthi's theorem of toddlers on a plane - "When more than 2 babies are screaming their head off on a plane, the one baby who is the least heard is automatically termed the most well-behaved" :-D. Yup, Snugli did make a fuss now and then, but she certainly wasn't audible among the other howling ones. So I got compliments on how polite and beautifully behaved she was! Hehehehee :)).

  • I have one good thing to say about Lufthansa's food - the rice was soft and the gravy had veggies which Snugli enjoyed. Sadly, as usual, the gravies had the same tastes though made of different veggies. I was glad nevertheless, as I didn't carry anything for Snugli as I heard that people who carried curd rice for their babies were mercilessly asked to dispose them off :(. Shaabaash security wale, no wonder, when you are busy securing baby foods, actual threats are going inside the planes :-p. Anyways Snugli even ate a couple of fruit pieces and I was basically satisfied about her stomach :-D.

  • I couldn't see a single shop of Frankfurt as they pushed us into the farthest corner of the airport to catch the plane to Hyderabad locking us in with a security check :((. I thought I'll atleast look at a few German chocolates, well, maybe I have to thank them for the reduction of a few calories :-p. Whats with these European airports and them allotting not even an aero-bridge to planes heading towards India? I mean do they even realize how inconvenient this is for parents with young children? In case of aero-bridges, we get preference and are able to put away the luggage (and the children :-D) before others head our way. With a bus and a staircase, imagine the wonderful organizational possibilities :-p. I have noticed this with Air France last time and Lufthansa this time. Maybe since the planes are filled with more than 90% of Indians, the authorities wash their hands off organization :-p. How convenient for them :-p.

  • In this whole story, I had only 2 hours of sleep, which also meant that I got to watch 4 movies on the plane! I saw Up, Harry Potter and the Half blood prince, Julie and Julia and 500 days of summer, interlaced with Snugli stuff :-D.

  • About 5 minutes to landing in Hyderabad, I started telling Snugli about how she'll soon meet her grandparents, uncle and aunt in about 5 minutes time and this 5 min stretched to about 2 hours thanks to late luggage arrival and customs check as a bonus :-p (paapa, I kept telling her 5 min, 5 min at every point :-p). We didn't see even a single luggage of ours for more than half an hour, our only solace being that we were not the only bakras - almost 3/4th of the plane was still waiting with us :-p. When we finally got outside after the big fuss, it was a huggggggggge get-together :-D. Snugli, though at first bewildered by the entire herd :-D, soon went to everyone with wide open arms recognizing each person :). Sri and I felt for the first time that our efforts of connecting online through video calls every weekend with both side parents were finally appreciated and rewarded :-D.

  • Jet lag, what jet lag? We faced almost negligible lag and what little lag that Snugli had, was blown to smithereens by the now-famous Teletubbies :-D.

  • Just one important note to parents travelling with infants - Sri was sitting next to this guy who had a horrendous experience. It seems he bought a ticket for his infant, but didn't get an e-ticket mentioning the infant, though the baby was mentioned in the itinerary. The airline people refused to allow the baby inside, since there was no way to generate a boarding pass for the baby without an e-ticket!! The connecting airline gave him 2 options, the 1st being they'd allow him (with wife and baby) to fly till Chicago, but could not guarantee that Lufthansa would do the same (in case they didn't, he'd have to go out to ticketing and buy a fresh ticket in Chicago which might take a long time) or the 2nd option being he could buy a ticket for the infant with them at the current price which was $1000!! Not wanting to take a risk, he went for the 2nd option thinking he will sort the troubles with his agent. So if you are travelling with a baby, please make sure you have an e-ticket in the baby's name too!!
Right now, the hot lingo in town is Snugli's lingo :-D. Everyone is talking and walking Snugli :-D, so she's fully enjoying the pampering.