I left Portland around 2:00 on Sunday November 1st, and arrived in New Delhi, India about 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday the 3rd. I feel like a lost a day of my life somewhere. I suppose I’ll find it on my trip home.
I had a short layover in Seattle where I met up with my coworkers and then we had another layover in Dubai. The Dubai airport is modern and beautiful with lots of charming shops selling all kind of colorful fabrics, perfumes, jewelry and ornate statues. I just couldn’t resist the urge to start my Christmas shopping. I was pleased to find everything was very affordable. I bought myself a perfume bottle covered in intricate gold design for only $9 USD.
What has interested me most are the people. The flight attendants on Emirates are stunningly beautiful in their beige and maroon uniforms. They wear a little pill hat with a white decorative scarf draping from one side to the other. They all wear their hair in a perfectly tight bun and it’s been hard to resist touching it. How do they keep the strands from escaping and why does their bright red lipstick never fade? They are all so poised and sweet. I suddenly feel like a large clumsy American in their presence. They remind me of the “Golden Age” of air travel in the U.S. and pictures of the beautiful young “stewardesses” in the movie Catch Me If You Can come to mind.
I sat next to a sweet old woman who looked very Indian with her colorful attire and dark skin, but I have no idea where she was from. We couldn’t understand each other and my Hindi translator App was useless. Her smile melted my heart. I guess happiness is a language we all understand. There were people in all kinds of national attire on the plane, from turbans to Shamis. I have also never seen so many children on a flight. They are obviously big family people and their patience with their rambunctious little ones impressed me.
They served curry on the plane and a delicious dessert made of cottage cheese and almonds, along with complimentary alcohol. They also gave us FREE head phones, a toothbrush and toothpaste and free movies. Remember those days? I wonder why American based airlines can’t find a way to profitably provide those amenities anymore.
Im exhausted and a bit overwhelmed. Tomorrow I have to give a presentation to about 40 people, including the CEO of one of the largest telecom companies in the world. I hope I’m ready. Right now I just want to put my feet up and banish my kankels! (Yes, my ankles are so swollen it looks like my calves and ankles are one). They actually hurt and so do my dry eyes. I was astonished at the heavy smog that encapsulates this place. I feel it in my lungs already. Time for some more Airbourne! At least the hotel Marriott has great accommodations. Soon I start looking for apartments. So much to do! Oh well, it’s all part of the adventure!