Wow. It’s been 442 days and two birthdays since my last post on MAdo. Last time I pressed Publish on my WordPress dashboard, I was 22. Now I am Three Million and One :P
And one more birthday has passed between that post and this. I think my blog is most productive when I am in between jobs. Haha. :)
There is so much to share that I am unsure of where to start! One year of life in a new, bigger city (Mumbai), one year of my new job (making me an engineer-turned-teacher-turned-editor), the quarterly visits home (bringing with it such adventures as checking into the wrong airline and This is your captain speaking. We have a slight delay as we are unsure where our co-pilot is—we’ll get to that :D), and much more.
And here I am, finally getting to that, and much more. :)
Thanks to multiple low-cost airlines flying the Indian skies and the pricing wars among them, flying is now more affordable than ever before and since 2012, I have wherever possible preferred flying over the former-as-a-student-favourite taking the train. My first experience flying was Bangalore-New Delhi-Jammu in early 2012. From that first flight to the latest one, I have always learnt something (that I should have known before :P). On my first flight, I learnt that if your shoes look like those shown on the right, Delhi airport security will make you take them off. This was before my 2 years in Mumbai so I knew much, much Hindi than I know now and it took me a while to figure out what the armed guys were saying. *Insert Whatsapp Monkey Closing Eyes Smilie Here* :P I also learnt that laptops need to be removed from the bag (So Duh! now but would you have known if no one had told you :P). For once, I was that guy that everybody hated for holding the line up because that guy had packed a lot more than a laptop in that bag. *Insert aforementioned Monkey Smilie* :) Oh, do you know what happens to trekking shoes when you ride a horse for 3 hours without knowing how to ride a horse? hehe.
Later in 2012, I moved to Mumbai for work and I started flying between Mumbai and my hometown (Bangalore) once every three to four months. The first few times, to maximise vacation and home time, I would take early morning flights, ~0500. This meant me leaving home, given how close to Bangalore Bangalore Airport is, at around 0230 in the morning. On most these days, because it was the last day of my break, I would stay out late with friends and would have reached home at ~0130. That roughly means no sleep for ~36 hours. I stopped taking these morning flights because the following day at work would be a crazy-amount-of-post-vacation-email-so-detached-from-work-so-disoriented-no-sleep-coffee-yay day. I think I started preferring evening flights after I tired to check in at a Go Air Counter with an Air indigo ticket at 6 in the morning with no much sleep in 40 hours. *You know which smilie* Hey, look at their colours and logos; even people who have slept their quota of 8 hours would get confused. :P
If all of this was not embarrassing enough, I remember live tweeting the entire incident. “Back to work Aww.” “Woohoo Celebs. I am in queue right behind ESPN Star Sports’ Champions League Crew and Studio Hosts <7” “I tried to catch the wrong plane. Yes. That is possible.” I also remember running from one end of the Airport (Go Air counters) all the way to the other end to reach the IndiGo counters. There was no way I was going to check in before the gates closed if I had stood in queue (again); so I narrated the whole incident in one breath to one of the IndiGo staff. He was nice enough to escort me to the head of the queue (Oh well, not the first time I pissed off people in a queue at the airport haan :P).
Those are all the airport stories where I have been in embarrassing situations and have been at the receiving end of the embarrassment. In the three years that I have been experiencing the joy of flying, I have a heard a variety of announcements from the cockpit, from the routine introductions and the flight data to the occasional delay and turbulence. The most unexpected one though was on an April 2014 SpiceJet flight back to Mumbai:
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are facing a slight delay because we are unsure where our co-pilot is. We will be taking off as soon as we are able to locate him.
We are now ready for take off. Thank you for your patience. We should still be able to land by the scheduled time.
Ten points for not going with the usual “technical difficulties.” :) I would not have been on this flight had I not had to reschedule and return a day earlier to attend an office party. I do wonder if I should have, though. Of course, I felt part of The Famous Five and Case of the Missing Co-pilot :P and I did win things. But things also happened that eventually led to the collapse of my then relationship. Its okay. That flight has long taken off…
XD The closest I have got to an airport that empty is when I flew in the intervening night between 31 December 2013 and 01 January 2014. So deserted, the airport and the flight itself. ~14 people. Our crew to passenger ratio was no longer low-cost airline-y for the night :P
I have an upcoming domestic flight and a potential international one next month. I am not sure what lessons I will be learning this time. Hehe. Finally, I am not entirely sure if I should be happy about technological advances or be creeped out about Google reading my mail content!
The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage ~ Mark Russell
Sir, you have the wrong airline ~ Go Air Staffer
Update 16 Nov 2014: The upcoming flight I referred to in the post was not uneventful as well. My check-in luggage was 7 kilograms over limit. I don’t know whether to facepalm or feel happy that I actually carried almost 22 kilograms on my back for most of the day before checking in as I moved around Mumbai meeting friends. SuperMAdo Hehe *that smilie* :P