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Old 20th December 2008, 23:44   #76
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We don't want to give Mr. Kapasi a rest yet! LOL.

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And What will this change too.

All the best
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Old 21st December 2008, 12:49   #77
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! And this will be pretty much our first day. The rest is private, sorry!
Bezuchen Sie beiden den Sauna wieder ?
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Old 23rd December 2008, 02:17   #78
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Bezuchen Sie beiden den Sauna wieder ?
Ja, natürlich Herr Matthew.

Sorry everyone for not offering any updates. I'm having a wonderful time here. Jenny has moved out and cleared her home.

As of now (in her words) she is officially homeless, lol.
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Old 23rd December 2008, 10:31   #79
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At least click pictures of the Christmas there and other things like you normally do and then create a back dated travelogue like you had done for Christmas in Bavaria. We'd take that any day over nothing.

Are you visiting those hot water springs again?
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Old 23rd December 2008, 10:45   #80
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Being homeless in Yetiland may not be such a bad thing after all! We are all privy to a certain generosity of heart in the Yeti's full on invites.
For the ones he loves, I am sure the Yeti will lay down all that is his.
So, JennyBraut, have a wonderful Christmas with your family this year, next year experience The GreatIndianChristmas!
Waiting for pictorial representations of love in the fatherland, Sam.
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Old 25th December 2008, 15:26   #81
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Default YetiBlog® - 21st December 2008

The alarm goes off at 4am. I've hardly slept.

A quick shower later, I'm on my way to the airport. My BIL finds it hilarious that I'm going with little or no luggage.

All I have is a little cabin bag with a few tee-shirts and a pair of jeans.
But won't it be cold?
Yes, Jenny has my winter jacket, I've left it in Germany.
But..
We need all the extra kilos we can get on our way back.


But I do have one check-in piece, a cardboard carton that is full of Xmas presents. I get it wrapped in clingfilm before check-in. It costs me 200 bucks and I can be sure the cardboard box won't get soggy or break open or anything.

I am flying Air-India. Has always been my preferred airline. Great food, fantastic Indian style hospitality and new aircraft. Right at the counter, the lady asks me if I would prefer a seat with legroom.
Yes, I smile. I would, very much.
She looks. I'm sorry, the only seat with legroom faces a baby bassinet. You won't get much sleep that way.
I smile back at her. It is really sweet that she is taking trouble to check me in.
How about this? I'll give you a centre seat block of 3. You'll be able to stretch a bit, I'll give you all 3 seats. Theek hai?
I nod. Perfect, thank you.
Have a pleasant flight.


I'm already glad I'm not flying Lufthansa.

The airport is being repaired, I cannot find the Mastercard Lounge. 4 am is a funny time to leave home. You cannot decide if it is morning, or night. My flight is at 8. I wanted to reach the airport at 5 since I've heard that the security is extra tight these days.

The security is normal.

Walk past the still-coming-up duty free (is that a Coach bag shop I see? Wow!) and I'm sitting in the waiting area with a burger and a coffee.

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The aircraft is a brand new 777-300 with 10" touchscreens and personal server-based entertainment. The kind where you start, pause and rewind each show or movie.
The seat is super comfortable. Typical Air India staff, some very experienced. Broad and kindly smiles.
I realise that the flight is actually Bombay-Chicago, via frankfurt.

Plenty of legroom, I settle in.

Once again the funny thing happens. I fall asleep immediately during take-off and once the plane is up in the air, I cannot sleep anymore. Ah well, time to catch up on my music.

An hour later, it is time for breakfast. The food is hot and fresh, served with a nice touch and a big smile. Believe me, these small things I find missing on many European flights. It is no bias, Jenny agrees with me completely.

After breakfast, they come around with tea and coffee.
Tea?
Yes please.

Jeanette is a pleasant looking lady, in her mid 40s. She seems very matter-of-fact about everything and makes it a point to talk a little to every passenger. The passenger count is a 50% mix of Indians and Foreigners.
She pours me my tea.
May I have a slice of lemon and some equal please?
Here's the equal...uhhh... can you wait, I'll get you some lemon.
Thanks.


10 minutes later Jeanette is back with some lemon slices and a paper cup full of tea.
Here is your lemon. Don't drink that tea, it is a bit cold now, I got you fresh tea here.
Thank you!
What a small touch and already I am beginning to enjoy my flight greatly.
I make it a point to smile at Jeanette every time our eyes meet. Once she stops to ask if everything is OK and if I'd like something to eat or drink.

2 hours later they bring out the bar. I always avoid drinking alcohol on the flight, it dehydrates me and I feel sick. I prefer juices and soft drinks instead.
Jeanette is serving the guy on the seat ahead of me. I've taken my headphones off.

What would you like to drink?

I cannot hear what the guy says.
We have everything, soft drinks, beer, alcohol...
He asks for whiskey.
She opens the bottle of Red Label and pours him a large one. OK? She asks showing him the glass.
Stronger? OK! she pours out almost half a glass of whiskey and laughs.
He makes a joke about how he has been waiting for the whiskey for a while.
Arrey, why didn't you ask me? I would have got you a drink. OK This is what we'll do.
She fills up the entire glass with whiskey and gives him an empty glass, 2 glasses full of ice and a bottle of water.
Now you'll get good sleep, she says laughing.

The minibar moves to me.
What would you like to drink?
Do you have Schweppes Ginger ale?
I ask.
Of course. No Alcohol for you?
No thanks.

She takes out a Ginger ale can and places it on my tray table.
She takes out 2 more. It is a very small can, I'll leave these with you. Enjoy.
Some nuts and chips and I am smiling and shaking my head.
Man - I love Air India.

After lunch Jeanette brings me my tea with lemon and equal separately, before I can ask.
I thank her. You're wonderful, thank you so much for this.
It's my job,
she says, smiling.

The flight is delayed by about an hour. I was supposed to land at 12.30pm.

Frankfurt is gloomy, dull and it is raining. Not nice this weather.

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It is about 1.45pm before I am walking towards passport control.
No questions asked, my visa is quickly stamped and I'm walking quickly towards the baggage claim area.

Only 10 people have gotten off the flight, the rest are going to Chicago. Jenny is smsing her welcomes.

I wait at the baggage belt, smiling and listening to Fela Kuti.

30 minutes later, I'm still waiting. 45 minutes later I realise something is wrong. My box of Xmas presents is nowhere to be seen.

To be continued...
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Old 25th December 2008, 16:23   #82
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30 minutes later, I'm still waiting. 45 minutes later I realise something is wrong. My box of Xmas presents is nowhere to be seen.
NO!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I wait at the baggage belt, smiling and listening to Fela Kuti.
You like Fela Kuti too (what a dumb question - there wouldnt be much that you might miss!)? I've been to the Shrine in Lagos - faaaar out, man. Also very violent and run by his son Femi who isnt a patch.
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Old 25th December 2008, 17:06   #83
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
30 minutes later, I'm still waiting. 45 minutes later I realise something is wrong. My box of Xmas presents is nowhere to be seen.

To be continued...
Grrr... You left us in the middle of nowhere sir, Not Done.

Eagerly waiting
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Old 25th December 2008, 17:40   #84
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Merry Christmas, Samta! And Jenny!
Err, the sack hasn't arrived? Reindeer breakdown!

The very best for the upcoming bondage!

Last edited by anupmathur : 25th December 2008 at 17:41.
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Old 25th December 2008, 19:22   #85
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Default YetiBlog® 21st December continued

I'm waiting at the belt. The reason I haven't panicked is that apart from the crew, none of the passengers (all 10 of us) have received a single bag. 7 Indians, 3 Germans. I guess the rest are going to Chicago.

The belt is turning round and round (round & round, round and round) and an interesting behavioural analysis takes place.

45 minutes later, all the Indians look scared and worried.
Aapka bag aaya? Buzz buzz
Kisika bag nahi aaya.
Kya karein?


Nobody does anything but there is a lot of clicking sounds and looking at the watch and at each other for sympathy.

The 3 Germans speak briefly to each other. One speaks English well. He looks at the rest of us and says We need to find the authorities, this is not normal in Frankfurt.

Jenny is messaging frantically. The entire schedule is upset. People are waiting, the landlord is waiting, the brother is waiting, the truck is parked outside, what the hell is going on blah blah blah.

What can I do? It is an entire carton with everyone's Xmas presents in it.

The baggage is handled by Fraport. (Frankfurt Airport Authority) - when the 3 Germans walk upto the lady at the Fraport counter, all the Indians follow. The 3 Germans speak quietly to the lady in german. I hear her say
Alles Air India? Pointing to all of us.
Ja he says.
Kya ho raha hai? Pata nahi, he is talking to them. Chalo let us tell her, CHALO.

Now 4 to 5 Indians are together at one counter and now they are strong. Voices are raised, arms are waving.
We are waiting from so long! Where are the bags?

A phone call, she listens to the other end.
Und? Ja.. Ja.. Jaa.. okay Danke.
Yes they have just found your bags on the plane and the bags are coming. Please wait.

Yeh log hamare bags bhool gaye honge. Accha hua that we came to complain.
Haan haan achcha hua.
All Indians go back to the belt and stare at it hopefully.

What's happening? We need to go
comes the SMS.

Yaa she said to wait a little while.

To be continued... (Sorry, actually I was going to finish but I need to go somewhere right now. I'll finish today, promise)
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Old 25th December 2008, 19:46   #86
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Grrr * 2. Man, this is turning out to be one hell of a blog.

Any Directors on our forum. This needs to be turned into a movie.
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Old 25th December 2008, 19:47   #87
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
To be continued... (Sorry, actually I was going to finish but I need to go somewhere right now. I'll finish today, promise)

Today ho gaya hai idhar India mein, my pop corn is also over. finish,

the Ekta Kapoor style suspense is killing me atleast,

Cheers

M M
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Old 25th December 2008, 21:06   #88
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Well this story needs to be had in chota pegs. That way you atleast have many days of interesting reading so you relish the taste.
Great going Sam and Jenny. God bless and Merry Xmas
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Old 25th December 2008, 22:28   #89
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Default YetiBlog® 21st December continued

It is now 2.30. All the crew have taken their bags and left. The 10 of us are waiting at a desolate belt that squeaks occasionally.

.....
squeaky squeaky
......


I wave out to Jenny from the customs gate. She is half crying half laughing, trying to wave and point to her watch all at one time. The customs door keeps opening and closing everytime somebody passes through, so I keep seeing her in 5 second windows. She's standing there with her brother.

I walk back to the Fraport lady. She looks at me
The bags are on their way.
Ja, but you said that 20 minutes ago.
Yes, the plane is far away, it takes time. I apologise for the inconvenience.
How long will it take you think? I am very late.
15 minutes more. Maximum.
OK.

I walk back to the belt.

Kya boli woh?
Boli 15 minutes mein aa jayega.
buzz buzz buzz buzz


It is now 2.50pm. Jenny is messaging saying that the schedule is seriously off and I should leave and ask Fraport to deliver the carton to Bad Nauheim.

I am sorry, we cannot do that.
Why not?
Because we have not lost the baggage. The baggage is coming, please wait.
What's wrong with you? I've been waiting for an hour and a half! I have somewhere else to be right now!!
The bags are here sir, we're having some trouble, some technical trouble with the belt.
How long?
Now, it will be with you in a few minutes.

I walk up to the customs gate. I can see Jenny glaring through the door. I shrug a helpless shrug. Really what can I do?

I walk back. The German guy speaks to me.
What did she say?
Technical trouble.
I roll my eyes.
BULLSH**
he yells. The Indians all turn around to look at him.
Sorry, he says generally, to nobody in particular. My old mother has been waiting outside since 12.30.
Yeah. My family has been waiting there since 12.30 too.

It is the first time I have referred to Jenny and Thomas as family. I reflect on that for a second.

KACHING!
Bags are popping out on the belt. In a few seconds I spot my little box of Xmas presents. I run quickly towards the box, grabbing it and placing it on my trolley. I lean on the trolley and push it like a little scooter, flying through the nothing-to-declare door.

The long kiss is replaced by an economy version. We have to run. Poor Thomas is waiting in the Fiat truck, the one he usually delivers wine in. Since the truck didn't fit in the regular parking, it is parked in the 15 euros an hour premium position, for 3 hours now!
We run into the truck and Jenny starts messaging everyone, telling them I'm out and will be in Heilbronn in 2 hours.

The plan is to drive from Frankfurt to Heilbronn, empty out her apartment (TV, washing machine, mattresses, bed, everything) and hand over the keys to the landlord.

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I'm a bit tired already before we reach her apartment. Most of the stuff is already packed up in boxes, Jenny has been doing that for 2 weeks now. A few of our colleagues meet us at the apartment to help us carry the stuff.
There's a lot of laughing and joing and a LOT of hard work.

Jenn'y washing machine weighs about 80 kilos (!!) and Thomas and I have a horrible time dragging it out of the basement and into the truck. Our hands are cold, the machine is wet and soap is dripping and the metal is cutting into our hands.
The others are loading chairs tables and what-nots into the truck. All of the stuff is to be given away to friends and family.

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A little while later, the landlord comes by and they finish up their calculations of deposit, electricity, water etc and in a little while, the apartment keys are handed over.

As I've been warned, there is no rest for me. We're now on our way, truck and everything, to the Weihnachtsmarkt in Heilbronn. More friends and colleagues will meet us there.
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Old 25th December 2008, 22:49   #90
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Default YetiBlog® - The Heilbronner Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market)

It is a short walk from the truck to the city square, the Rathaus Platz, where we're meeting the others. Heilbronn is all decked up for Xmas!! It is wonderful.

Lots of laughing and chatting, we eat Würst, boiling hot Glühwein in funny little christmassy mugs, Fleischkäse, Käsespätzle, Schupfnudelen with Sauerkraut, people watching, drinking all kinds of fun stuff, eating all kinds of fun food.

It is cold, but not as cold as it has been the past week (I am told) - it is about 6 or 7 degrees that evening.

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It begins to sink in. I'm in the heart of Christmas already. I am in Germany

We spend 2 hours at the Markt. The day is very far from over. Unfortunately, we now have to drive 2 hours to Bad Nauheim AND then unload everything immediately, as we have to return the truck!

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 25th December 2008 at 22:51.
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