Passing tearful mom, best wishing dad, farewell bidding friends I hit the check-in counter. I dumped two bags of 23 kgs each and the person there said "Sorry sir, just one bag of 20Kg is what I'm allowed". I cursed my travel desk for misinforming me, proudly I said I'll pay for the excess baggage without realizing the price. A quick math and he says "40 euros per kg, thats about 40 thousand INR for 20 kg sir"...."what the !!!". With numbed brain and slight panic, reduced the baggage to half, checked in, cleared security and waited for boarding call in awfully crowded, clamorous waiting room.
Lufthansa stewardesses were a generation gap apart, very young and pretty Indian ladies and a couple of fat German grannies. But I must say that food was the best part of flight, can you believe that they served beaten rice (avalakki, poha) with vada and sambar for breakfast?
Seven long hours of wait in Frankfurt was indeed painful, except for the eyes which were treated quite graciously. I met Ralf at the waiting gate for Mexico flight, he was flying to meet his girlfriend studying ethnology.
Flight to Mexico had similar kind of generation gap among stewards. The pasta was extremely delicious, flight was terribly long...12 long hours almost. I struck a conversation with Elrike, the German lady sitting next to me, I spoke history, geography, culture and beer; she was surprised to know I knew Germany so much. An extremely pretty Russian skater, Ella, was sitting next to her. I couldn't stop myself from talking to her for she was so attractive, but unfortunately she was feeling sick in the flight. She was visiting Monterrey for a performance.
I happened to meet this Chinese lady during immigration at Mexico city. I spoke my broken Chinese and she was overwhelmingly glad. As usual I again flaunted my geography and culinary knowledge about China and she was in awe.
My energy levels had greatly dipping, legs feeling heavy, eyes closing by themselves, hand bag becoming heavier...it was an awfully long walk to the gate of Monterrey flight.
My eager eyes couldn't locate Jaggu at airport. No "SACHIN" name plates in airport either. None of the phone numbers are reaching, all odds against me. I hired a taxi, driver of which didn't know Santa Fe. He made be buy calling card of 30MXN which was useless, tried making calls which couldn't reach, asked people who couldn't help...after an hour and half long taxi ride, he finally got me to Santa Fe. Thanks profusely to Riniki, Harish, Arun for a delicious pulao, raita and dal fry. Thanks profusely to Jaggu, Ajith and Shyam for a fruitless wait at airport.