Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Long Journey

I mean, it's not like it took us months to get here, but it's all relative, right?

Our travel started at noon on Saturday, when a car service came and picked us up and drove us to JFK. Actually, the driver was half an hour early (he told us he likes to be early so that the customers don't panic), and since traffic and security were both pretty good to us we were waiting at our gate 2 full ours before our flight to Frankfurt was scheduled to depart. It ended up being slightly delayed, but since we had a 7 hour layover once we arrived we weren't too worried.

The flight was great- easy, smooth, and full of nice flight attendants who even brought the kids colored pencils and activity books! We had the four seats across the middle of the plane, so we didn't have to worry about bothering anyone else, either.

The downside to that flight was that we managed to lose our camera. This is totally sucktastic, and we still aren't sure what we're going to do about it. More on that later.

So, the Frankfurt airport. 1. It's HUGE. 2. it is not as charming as it's very well designed website led me to believe. We were in terminal 1 the whole time, but had to travel from concourse A to concourse B and it took us a solid 30 minutes of walking to do so. Then we had to go through a security check point again, which took another 30 minutes since we were placed in the slowest moving line we could see. Seriously, the guy running the x-ray machine was looking very, very closely at everyone's luggage, and about 75% of the bags he was scanning apparently required him to leave his x-ray machine (and thus stop progress in the line entirely) put on a pair of latex gloves, and paw through the bag personally. Two of our bags were deemed suspicious- one for a bag of change we brought along for counting games, and one because of my laptop, which they wanted to swab. You'll be relived to know that it passed the test ;)

By the time we actually arrived at our gate we'd been walking or in line for over an hour, and according to our internal clocks it was then about 1am. Robert and the kids had slept a little on the plane; I hadn't been able to sleep at all (what can I say, it's a gift). At any rate, Robert promptly laid down with his head in my lap and went to sleep. Zion thought that looked pretty good, so he did the same. Liel decided to do a little art project and went to sit a table about 10 feet away from me. On the one hand I was pleased that Liel was having fun and the boys were sleeping, but on the other I was bored, exhausted, and freezing. The waiting area we were in was cheerless as hell (everything was gray, stark, and hard, and there were construction tarps strategically placed so as to give a somewhat derelict air), and quite cold. It was so cold that after an hour, when Robert woke up, I sent him and Liel to scout a warmer waiting place. Liel was bundled up in all her warm clothes, I had my big thick shawl over Zion while he continued to sleep, and I was wearing long sleeves, a wool sweater, and one of Robert's fleeces. Yes, I am a delicate flower.

At any rate, they found a warmer waiting area only about a 5 minute walk away, so we dragged ourselves and our luggage down there and I promptly laid down and slept for about 90 minutes. Zion went right back to sleep too, and Liel curled up like a hedgehog on a chair and did the same. I think Robert worked while he stood guard over us.

Eventually we got on our plane to Bangalore (also delayed) and then…we sat there. We sat on the plane for about 40 minutes while we waited for a truck that could tow us to the runway to arrive. And then we were off! The flight was bumpier and longer than our first leg, but all in all Robert has declared his love for Lufthansa, and I'm pretty pleased with them as well. Zion was not much interested in sleeping on the plane, having slept for a few hours on the first plane, plus 4-5 more in the airport, but he played games and watched movies. Liel watched one movie and then watched the plane traveling across the map and slept. We were seated behind not one, but TWO crying infants….one year old twins. They pretty much tag teamed each other with the crying for most of the flight. I felt for their parents, lemme tell ya!

Due to our late start we landed in Bangalore late…but we landed in Bangalore! Customs and immigration were both pretty good to us, though our baggage took a while to collect and the line at the money changer was really slow. But the drivers the Institute sent for us were still there, and loaded us up and drove us to the Centenary Visitors House, our home for the next 5 months.

1 comment:

ME said...

I've been stalking your blog to see when you arrived. Wow, what a trip!
I'll be following your adventures.