So how was the long trip some might ask (I would have added home, but for now I am so confused on where home is.. sometimes referring to India as my home and sometimes to my actual home in Charlotte.. that I am ready to reserve judgment for now!!). Its no longer a shock/ surprise .. my trip! It is just my very matter of fact expectation that my every trans-Atlantic, across the world trip would be adventurous and exciting! But shouldn't I actually feel frustrated or worried or something? Instead I had an our of the body experience where I looked at myself as I levitated above (who am I? really?)... and I actually had the audacity to laugh!! Just think about it.. once is a mishap, twice is a freak coincidence.. but thrice? Are you kidding me? You would think I would freak out and go berserk.. but not me, I sat stoically and experienced the moment that brought me closer to my God (remember his comic relief?) .. also look at the bright side, I have yet another story to tell!! So the day dawned perfect in Charlotte, contrary to my expectation there were no thunder storms or other freak weather conditions, nor did the alarm malfunction. I actually got to the airport well ahead of time .. the check in happened without mishap, no messed up tickets this time! The line at the security check in was short and my flight was on time too! Except for the case of the breakfast that tasted like sand paper and lumps.. (to those of you who want to know.. it was toast and eggs from SBARRO.. but the eggs were like nothing I have ever tasted.. there were lumps of dry yellow tasteless thing.. wonder what it was!). Anyway, so far so good.. and now I was worried! Whats it going to be this time? The anticipation was killing me...
But I did not have long to wait.. the flight landed a good 45 minutes early at New york (or New york, New york like Cheeky likes to call it.. how fascinating!). This was when I had my deja vu... I had to change terminals to take my next flight.. and my flight was hours and hours away... so I wondered if I should just hang in there and experience the terminal 7.. which was bustling and had some cool fun things to do (read foot massage and shopping options!). But then that niggling in my brain was put to rest by a quenching need for a tryst with fate.. so I left the airport took the air train and went to the international terminal.
And there I was no boarding pass, closed airline counters, a couple of benches and all the fun stuff to do beyond a security checkpoint (that needed a boarding pass to cross)! A few minutes and a bag of Cheetos later.. Cheeky joined the list. with his incessant questions.. Mommy when will we go in? Mommy when will we go to Chennai? Mommy when will we get on the plane? and the list as you can imagine just wouldn't end!! A few hours later, a tired mommy, a frustrated Cheeky, two hungry tummies and two darned boarding passes crossed the security checkpoint.. and off to the food court.. but of course, Cheeky and mommy wouldn't eat the same thing, or even at the same restaurant ( don't you think gourmet, I am just making fast junk food sound like it was served on a silver platter in a 5 star restaurant!). Anyway, with bags in tow, food bags to carry, not to mention a tray that fit next to nothing and 2 drinks, the credit card was stowed into the pant's pocket and all but forgotten! A hurried lunch and a pouted lip (how dare Mc D give the little dreamer a squirrel toy of all things.. we were anticipating the ice age toys and wanted a mammoth or a saber tooth cat, or a dinosaur.. hell we would have settled for a sloth too.. but Scrat the squirrel? you got to be kidding me.. the pout said!)
Later the Cheeky imp was hurried out of one store after another while the mom and imp took the long hike to the gate. Mommy went to the phone banks to call Daddy and complain and whisked out her credit card, only to find it gone.. a hurried run back to the food court an irate Cheeky in tow, revealed the adventure had not just begun it was in full swing!! But I know better than to be worried, I used CC 2, called M and declared "just cancel my Visa card.. ".. as simple as that? yeah ... who are we kidding.. we knew this would happen right? A coloring book and a very expensive toy watch later (let the records show that the watch was subsequently broken on the flight)... Cheeky was convinced to let the Mc D people rest assured that there will be no small claims court that would subpoena them!
While on the phone yet again to M to make sure that the CC had been canceled, some rain droplets were observed, discussed and pushed away with a stylish flick of the wrist (as if!).. but those very droplets would come back to haunt us.. We boarded the international flight, and found our very uncomfortable seats and had a huge discussion of when we should sleep.. while mommy reconciled herself to the fact that it would still be a while the PA spoke up "There is a long queue of flights to take off, this might be a while, there is a lot of chaos because of the thunderstorm" What thunderstorm, that light drizzle you mean? I swear I looked up at the sky and I could see a smile! While I quickly fed Cheeky his dinner but refused to take off his shoes for I was getting ready to disembark and go spend the night in a hotel in New york, when they eventually announce that the flight was canceled, the flight actually took off a good 3 hrs later by which time the imp was well fed and fast asleep. Dinner and a movie later, I closed my eyes to get a shut eye when I heard the little voice "mommy time to get up.. lets play now!" and a few seconds later two little fingers pried my eyes open and a little face pushed up close!! I gave in to the inevitable.. a sleepless 19 hr flight!
Kids and travel never go hand in hand.. kids traveling for long.. tired and hungry will drive any parent crazy, let alone a
The rest as they say is history.. we did get to Chennai not too worse for wear, and only a few hours delayed while my dad paced the outside of the airport worried sick, and the airline information system read that the flight was on time!! But now we are here and you better get yourself geared up for stories about eewie play areas (read the bouncing castle at Planet yum, Besant nagar which we visited last night.. while a friend's 3 yr old squeezed among the dozens of kids wying for a spot on the bouncy slide, my 4.5 yr old declared "I am not going there"..while other kids jumped up and down amongst the plastic balls.. my kid declared "eew.. dirty" and quickly put on his shoes again") and scary bugs (read lizards and house flies), not to mention the wet bathrooms! All this from a guy who loves sticky hands and seems to have a consistently gooey face!!