Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ann Arbor post - part II

Around 12:30 – 12:45,the flight attendant started calling in people for the flight. First, the passengers of the business class were called in and then economy class passengers called in based on the seat number. I went through a passage where my boarding pass was checked in and I walked ahead into the passage leading upto the plane’s door.

As soon as I entered into the plane I realized that its bigger than the domestic flight in which I had come. There were 9 seats in a row split into 2-5-2 seaters. My seat was the last seat in the 5-seater,again! No window seat!! 

Another disappointing aspect of this flight was that the airhostesses were big women who were past 35 years of age!! I was even tempted to address one of them as granny but was held back thanks only to my fear of being kicked out of the plane.

Soon the plane started and this time I was too tired to feel anything except for the slight realization that I was leaving my country!

I was tried to look outside the plane through window past the aisle and the two seater but it was shut off by the lady who was traveling with her husband with a baby.

I decided to get some shut eye but before that I was given some light snacks lest I don’t go to bed with a empty stomach. I munched the food item as I was watching the huge screen displaying the flight path and other relevant flight information.By then one of the attendants gave me a headphone which plugged in to the arm rest of the seat. Soon I fell asleep.

When I woke up I could see that a movie was being played on the big TV!!

It was movie featuring Salman khan,Kareena kapoor,Jackie shroff,Om puri and shilpa shetty’s sister(I forgot her name).

Here goes the story.

The story starts with Salman khan admitted in a lunatic asylum run by Om puri.

Kareena kapoor is his daughter

and she and Jackie work in the asylum as doctors!! (the rhyming is just coincidence!! )

Salman is admitted because he had gone mad(I mean, in the movie) when he “accidently” kills his wife after romancing with her in the picturesque tourist spots in Europe.

Kareena is this caring doctor who nurses him back to good mental health with the help of Jackie and eventually falls in love in the process.(I mean isn’t that obvious ???)

I never fathomed to understand why gorgeous looking heroines always fall for the crazy,dull,mentally unstable,rickshawallah,taxiwallah,rowdies etc etc in the movies.

Aren’t there enough decent software engineers available whom you can trap??

Anyway coming back to the movie, Om puri is totally pissed off when he comes to know that his daughter is in love with a crazy guy!! So he carries out a high profile operation on salman which renders him into a vegetable state!!

Unable to see Salman in such a hopeless state Jackie kills him by stuffing a pillow on his face.

Jackie goes to the jail for his offence and Kareena goes mad for her lost love!!!

After watching this “crazy” movie I watched the antics of the tiny tots near by to my seat and then gulped in the beautiful sceneries painted by the morning sun on the plain skies of Europe.

By the time I had only a 1 or 2 hours of journey left. I was thrilled to know that my plane was flying over cities like Prague,Vienna,Frankfurt etc etc. these were all the cities which I always wanted to visit and they were just “crashing distance” away from me!!

Even though I knew that there wasn’t much of a formality to be carried out in Amsterdam I was afraid whether the flight will reach the destination on time and whether I will have enough time to catch the next flight.

But thankfully the flight reached just 10-15 late. The gate number for the Detroit flight was announced by the flight attendant as a high percentage of people from this flight were to catch that as well.

I raced towards gate number 9 as I marveled at the clear and open design of the Amsterdam airport. Also there was a feeling of me not being part of the crowd as that was the first time I saw so many Caucasian foreigners in such a short span!

I joined the line which I found in gate number 9. After answering the security questions about the baggage I was guided to a desk where my passport was verified and some computer work was done with my passport information as the lady at the desk nimbly tapped on the keyboard. Then it was the security clearance again as I went through the metal detector tests after which I was through to the passage to the plane.

Soon I was into the airplane and found my way to the seat. Again it was quite unnerving to be amidst lot of African American and Caucasian people who were a lot bigger than me!!

I found my seat and this time it was a window seat !!!! And the flight had a better on-board entertainment system with a small TV for all seats. I even had a remote with which I can select a variety of options to be displayed on the the screen like movies,flight information,games,music etc etc. It was so cool.

By the time I learnt couple of my colleagues were traveling in the same plane. I met with one of them and made sure that we went together to the hotel once we reached Detroit.

As the plane started we were given couple of forms based on the nationality. Since I was an alien I was given a I-94 form and blue colored form. The I-94 was to be filled up with the details of my stay like the address and other information. This was to be the document that shall authorize me to stay and work in US. The other one was the customs form. I had to declare any valuables I had brought and also whether I had brought any food stuff,soil,plants,animals etc etc.

I filled it out and then started watching movies. The view outside just the blinding white of the clouds as the plane swam across the clouds with the mighty atlantic lying beneath.

I watched a couple of movies which I always wanted to see. They were Toy story and Bugs life!!! I loved it!

I also watched a light comedy “Fun with Dick and Jane” starring Jim carrey. Any Jim carrey movie is worth watching atleast one . What say?? 

After the plane entered Canada I gaped at the breathtaking beauty of the rural landscape that appeared beneath me. The trees,the greenery,the lakes,the roads neatly drawn with perfect color and contrast with intermissions of my view by passing clouds was a treat to watch. There were times when the sun reflected so brightly off the clouds that I was forced to close the window

After a memorable flight travel the plane landed in Detroit airport tearing through the cloud screen that had enveloped the city. Detroit, the automobile capital of US and a city with a sizable African American population also holds the dubious distinction of one of the most crime ridden city in US.
--to be continued

Ann Arbor post - part III