Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Passage to India – Part I

It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything as I have been on vacation with the family. While I have had access to a computer, I was relishing the opportunity to step away from the technology that dominates my daily life. I did not bring an MP3 player, mobile phone or laptop with me. My electronic accoutrements were limited to a camera and video recorder.

Getting organized and packed for an 18 day vacation is much more elaborate as a homeowner/family than I realized. As a single man in an apartment I did not get a newspaper to be put on hold, I did not care if the mail piled up, nor did I need somebody to keep an eye on my living quarters, as my belongings weren’t worth all that much. Fortunately my wife stepped up in this department as well as resetting the thermostat and reminding me to turn down the hot water heater. Further, traveling with an 8 month old as new parents set off the various scenario buttons to the point that we had double the amount of clothes, diapers and wipes than we needed. We also packed various baby items such as a stroller and feeding chair that did not get used. I am very relieved that we did not have to use the multitudes of medications that we brought. I was also pleasantly surprised by the cost and quality of formula and rice cereal in India.

By the time Thursday rolled around we had 4 checked bags averaging about 55 pounds each and 5 carry-on bags to the tune of about 8 pounds each. I feel compelled to bore you with the math which amounts to 260 pounds of luggage for the three of us. We came close to having more pounds of baggage than pounds of passengers as the family currently weighs around 320 pounds. There was a little overkill with baby supplies but not too bad. With family abroad we also included a bag of gifts and hard to find items. This bag was filled on the way back with items we purchased abroad for ourselves and friends in America.

Now we begin our journey by getting to the airport via a car service which was very pleasant. For a mere $60 we did not have to trouble our friends, fuss about car seat availability or contend with public transportation with the aforementioned 260 pounds of luggage. We were also dropped directly to the gate and got a porter to help with the bags which amounted to a $10 tip for a few minutes work. Airport security was a breeze except for the half dozen bags of liquids in the now 4 carry-on bags as we somehow got roped into giving up the stroller and getting it checked all the way to Delhi. Also removing shoes, belts, coats and electronics is more difficult than I remembered. I think all told we had 4 totes along with the 4 bags going through security. I must point out that one of the carry-on bags was a breast pump which required inspection at every point along our journey.

Having this fear of missing flights, we ended up at the gate about one hour and thirty minutes early for the planned departure which ended up being thirty minutes late. The 2 hours at the airport is a long time with the little one and few food or entertainment choices. Stay tuned for Part II which will feature the journey which included a 10 hour layover in London.

No comments: