Saturday, June 6, 2009

Meet my travel buddies

We were quietly sitting in the Kanpur Airport waiting for our plane to head to Delhi. The Kanpur airport is probably the size of an average living room with a driveway as a runway. Katie and I were just reading when the following conversation took place:

Man: The shuttles here.

Katie and I look puzzled: What?

Man: The car to take us to the plane

Katie: Taking us where?

Man: To the Lucknow Airport to catch our flight. Our plane will be arriving too late...

Lucknow is an hour and a half away from Kanpur. He said the last sentence like it was completely normal that we were driving there. So, we did what any sane traveler would do, we followed the rest of the strange Indians to this SUV, put our baggage in the back and hopped in.

Me. Katie. Surinder. Rai. Kid from Mumbai. Driver.

Half way through the drive, kid from Mumbai says something in Hindi to the driver and 5 minutes later, we are pulled over somewhere in "rural" India between Kanpur and Lucknow. "We are going to have some tea", says Surinder. Of course we are. Again: me, Katie, Surinder, Mumbai, Rai.

Our plane was scheduled to leave in 45 minutes, and we were stopping for tea and a smoke.

When we got to Lucknow, we got in and got our tickets and everything squared away. Katie and I started walking towards the small security gate when Rai says, "We're gonna go get something to drink and hang out in the restaurant for about 15 minutes before we go in. Come on!"

We both looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and followed them to the restaurant. We weren't about to separate ourselves just yet from the only 3 people that spoke English. It was 7:40 at this time. Our flight was scheduled for 8:10.

We shared some Pepsi and french fries, chatted for a bit longer, and then headed through the gate.

The cultural difference between Americans and Indians can be seen right here. Our plane got canceled and instead of getting upset and stressed, we just drove 1 1/2 hours to the nearest airport. Why not? And then instead of rushing through security, how about we get some tea and Pepsi. It'll be just fine.

So, a 2 hour drive, 45 minute flight, a night in the airport, and another 2 hour flight all equaled a safe trip to Hyderabad.

I think we are starting to get a hang of traveling around this place.


Rwanda said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE that you're in India. My favorite line from this entry: "Why not? And then instead of rushing through security, how about we get some tea and Pepsi. It'll be just fine."

keep em comin.

this week for dinner - jane maynard said...

anne, that is so funny...and crazy! seriously, I'm cracking up. what an experience you are having!!!!!!

os - I really like your profile picture. so cute!

Bill from Jersey said...

Great post!

mrs. peterson said...

how funny. i have found myself to have gotten pretty uptight lately. that would have really been a doozy for me (but a good lesson, i'm sure).