Hello everyone :) and Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans,
I’m loving my time here in Chennai so far. And I finallyyyyyy have wifi access here at the house, so as promised and for those of you who are interested, here's a more detailed account of my journey over to the motherland from earlier this week:
My trip was pretty decent overall, thanks to window seats, Emirates airlines, and their helpful airport staff. A couple weeks ago, Emirates informed me that I’d have to check in my guitar as opposed to carrying it on with me - which I wasn’t really happy about. I’ve heard so many horror stories about instruments getting thrown around and coming out severely damaged or almost irreparable. Fortunately though, once they actually saw that my guitar was travel size and had a softer case than most others, they let me carry it on. Yay. :)
(By the way, traveling with an instrument is similar to what I’d imagine traveling with a baby or a pet would be like - minus the feeding/bathroom part. Plus it’s an instant conversation starter.)
The first flight was 13 hours long, and due mainly to the fact that I had three whole seats to myself, tons of entertainment to choose from, and a few really good naps, it was over before I knew it. The stop in Dubai was also 13 hours long, but felt much shorter since I spent most of that time sleeping in the hotel. If I hadn't been traveling alone, I would've loved to do some sightseeing. Next time.
The last leg of the trip was only 4 hours, and everything was fine until the little boy sitting next to me vomited all over himself and his middle seat lol. I’m just thankful that he didn’t throw up on me and that this only happened within the last 10 minutes of the flight. I really don’t know whether or not I would’ve made it otherwise.
The only thing I was a teensy bit nervous about was actually landing in Chennai and having to deal with all of the airport madness thereafter on my own, what with customs and baggage claim and waiting for my ride... But it really could not have gone any smoother. Since I have an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card, the customs guy literally just looked at my forms, stamped my passport, and sent me on my way without a single word. Then it was a short walk over to baggage claim where I was able to quickly get a cart and load all three of my bags with no help. Waited a little while for my uncle to pick me up, and then we were off to his house in Kodambakkam, where I'm staying temporarily until other arrangements are made.
I spent most of that first day resting, and I also got to meet my uncle/aunt’s sweet granddaughters: Tesia (12) and Tasha (8). Their dad (Tiju) is my second-cousin, and his mom is my dad's first-cousin (her mom and my deceased paternal grandmother are sisters). Tiju, his wife Babita, Tesia, Tasha live one level above the flat where I'm staying with his parents. It's a nice place - very clean, great food, hardly any bugs so far... but of course it’s extremely hot. Two showers a day are essential. Oh, they also have an outdoor watchdog - she’s a yellow lab, and her name is Snuffy :)
Should be getting my India number by Sunday and will be sending it to you all then. Don’t forget to download Whatsapp to your phones if you’d like to text me for free!
That's all for now. Thanks for reading :)
:: a l i s h a ::