Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Joy of the Commute

After London, I had a 6 hour layover in New Delhi before catching my flight to Amritsar, the location of the closest airport to my dad's hometown of Jalandhar in Punjab. In a way, it felt like a wasted because if the Delhi airport actually had trains running from there as well, I could have caught a train to Jalandhar and been there in the same space of time or even less, but what can you do? Oddly enough, the ticket I bought was the cheapest option, even taking into account the fact that I'm flying home from Pakistan! I decided to at least elevate my legs during my stop in Delhi, since my ankles were so swollen, as I mentioned in my last post.

My seat on the plane this time was pretty bad, second in the middle of 4 seats. Being in the middle any time in a flight isn't great, although I don't mind on short flights. It's just the long-haul ones that are really hard to handle. What made it worse is that the guy to my right took up all the arm space, the guy to my left took up leg space, and the woman in front of me reclined her chair all the way back, so I was pretty cramped most of the trip--and the Virgin Atlantic craft seems to have seats that recline more than I remember in other planes. The staff were not the best either. The flight attendant got distracted after the guy to my left asked for another drink, and she failed to collect my empty tray. I thought she would come back to where she left off, but she didn't, and it took 25 minutes before someone responded to my service call. It's the first time I've flown with Virgin, so it's a very poor first impression.

The main problem with flying to India is that you fly with Indians. They take up a lot of space, as mentioned above, without any thought or consideration of others, and depending on the situation, they can be smelly--refer back to my archived blog, when I get it up and running, about the old Punjabi lady who leaned on me all the way home from India and left her shoes off to reveal her smelly feet in knee-highs. Very unpleasant, especially after 14 hours of it! I didn't have any situation like that this time, at least, and of all things, there was a smell of rosewater in the plane! Of course, this is a generality about Indians; obviously not everyone is like that, but somehow, I always seem to get stuck next to the ones that think they own the plane, and it has always been a frustrating experience. I just hope my flights back to Canada are more pleasant!

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