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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Journey Begins

I was picked up by SuperShuttle at 2:30 and arrived at Dulles around 4:00 after they picked up three other passengers.  The roads in DC were horrible and I can’t imagine what is going to happen if they get the 10-12 inches they were predicting.  The traffic at Dulles was horrendous, but there were no problems at security.  I decided to have a late lunch at Fuddruckers (bacon cheese burger with onion rings).  I figured it will be the last time I have a chance to have a cheeseburger and maybe any meat for awhile.

The flight was delayed because the crew was late getting to the airport.  Virgin Atlantic is a very nice airline and I was surprised how the flight was not full.  I figured with the cancellations and the threat of snow for Tuesday, it would have been full.  After take-off the guy next to me took an open row and I had the row all to myself.  I watched Zombieville (very entertaining movie - loved Bill Murray).  Only ate some of the meal because I was still full from lunch.  They served pasta salad, roll, grilled chicken and chocolate cake.  I then slept for about 4 to 4.5 hours.  I woke in time for a granola bar and OJ.

We touched down around 8:10 am (an hour later than scheduled)  because we had to circle the runway.  I didn’t know Heathrow was so big, but after getting off the plane you have to walk about ½ mile, catch a bus, which took 10 minutes to get to the other terminal, go through security and then walk about another ½  mile to the gate.  The flight to Mumbai was with Jet Airlines.  I got to the gate around 9:00 and nothing was going on even though the plane was there and  boarding was supposed to begin at around 8:40, so I decided to buy some water.

When they did start boarding it was total chaos.  It was just a free for all, they did not call rows. And it seemed that it was taking forever for them to let people on board.  I guess they need to check visas etc.  Unlike the flight to London this one was packed.  Jet Airlines isn’t’ bad - you get your own tv like Virgin and manarriers have for long distance flights.  They gave you very hot towels to  clean your face and hands and they served 2 meals.  The first was chicken curry with rice, salad, yogurt, and dessert.  The rice was very spicy. The second was lamb kabob and was not very good although it came with some potato side that was pretty good, but also spicy.  This maybe something I need to get used to.  They also served an ice cream popsicle.

On the flight I watched The Time Traveler’s Wife, not bad but not as good as the book.   I also watched Public Enemies with Johnny Depp, although I didn’t want to sleep on this leg of the trip I fell asleep anyway and slept through most of this movie.  I also played Who Wants to be a Millionaire and some other games on my screen.

I arrived in Mumbai around 12:40 about 10 minutes late and got through Immigration without any problems.  I figured they would ask me some questions, but they didn’t.  I was very surprised that I was never asked about having a one-way ticket and no checked luggage.

I was expecting total chaos at the airport, but it wasn’t that bad.  It was busy especially for one something in the morning. The driver was there to meet me and we arrived at the hotel around 2:00.  The Hotel isn’t bad.  It is clean and has a private bath, but for the price (around $50 per night) I am paying it seems a little over priced, but that is Mumbai.  They are moving me to a single room tomorrow.

Well that is all for now.  I should get to bed it is 3:30 am here.

Here are pictures of my room at the Residency Hotel in the Fort area of Mumbai.

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