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|19th February 2010, 19:00||#136|
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Bursting crackers in hand naughty, naughty. Kids will pick it (habit) up too...
BTW, were these crackers from India or China? Just curious to know the reach of the Indian Cracker market.
|19th February 2010, 19:25||#137|
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The bombs are not loud at all, most of them go off with a WHACCK! instead of the loud bombs we're used to - BAAAMMM!. And you're actually supposed to light them in your hand holding them steadily. A lot safer than bending down in an awkward position and running off (and possibly falling down)
Initially I was scared too, but understood the minute I lit my first bomb. It's a mild thing. I would NEVER do it with Indian Laxmi Bombs and Rassi Bombs and stuff.
The firecrackers are very different and much much milder. The bombs don't even hurt if they burst around your leg and arms. The rockets are safe and don't take off in a burst of fire.
I guess German standards don't allow the hardcore crackers we have in India.
|19th February 2010, 23:51||#138|
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The moral of the story? Hello, Christmas Tree was basically a German concept. The Germans exported that concept to rest of the world. Two hundred back, it was an alien idea to British.
Last edited by Samurai : 20th February 2010 at 00:16.
|20th February 2010, 18:47||#139|
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It is further corroborated by Wikipedia
Funnily enough, the town of Geismar in the above legend is a mere 178kms from Bad Nauheim, where I was for Christmas.
One lives and learns...
Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 20th February 2010 at 18:51.
|20th February 2010, 20:01||#140|
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YetiBlog® - Almost the end
After the fireworks, we get back into the house -- it is too terribly cold to be outside.
Games and Karaoke and food and drink, we go on till about 5 in the morning. It's been a good celebration.
My holiday is over. Unfortunately we must fly back tomorrow itself so I can be in New Delhi for the Auto Expo.
I've been working by remote control for the past 2 weeks and it's time to see what has been done.
The next day, as expected, spirits are low. Hangovers are high, lol
Simple food, simple conversations and a pleasant evening on the 1st January.
Of course we do not have a late night because we must pack.
Man what the hell?
Yeah these are my forks and knives I want to take them home.
What about all this?
My Books, my photos.
How much stuff!!
Will you just let me pack???
It's been 2 years that I've been bringing her stuff back to India. This is the last of it.
I know I should be a little more patient, but I am not. Not everyone is perfect.
We have excess baggage.
What no? Just these stupid photos are like 10 kilos. And what are these huge albums?
These are mine!
I'm upset. We have much more than 40 kilos together. It must be at least 50 or 55 kilos. Dammit. So much for my cheap ticket.
Yup it's over. Even though it has been terribly, terribly cold - we've had a warm and wonderful Christmas and New Year.
The next morning we rise early and carry all our stuff to the airport.
The BIL drops us as always and waves us off. I'm going to miss all of this.
|20th February 2010, 20:19||#141|
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YetiBlog® - The journey home
We're in so much trouble.
No we're not.
Yes we are. I cannot believe we have to carry all of this stuff. Knives and spoons and forks.
It's good German cutlery.
The Kuwait Airways counter is small and tough to find. Well, kind of. I'm getting used to German efficiency.
There's a nice German guy in his 40s at the counter. We hand over our passports.
Ah, Bad Nauheim he says, looking at TheOne®'s passport.
She grins broadly you know Bad Nauheim? (in german)
Oh yes, beautiful town. I play in a Band and we played there last month.
He grins and speaks to me as well. In German. And grins. He's made a pleasant joke I think. At least that's the tone and Jenny is still smiling.
Whenever she and I travel together and she speaks in German, people have conversations with us in German. Of course I understand, but sometimes I don't.
Sometimes I am thinking of something else (like the mole on someone's nose or something) and I lose concentration. That's the problem. I have to concentrate to understand a German conversation. Lose my concentration, I've lost comprehension.
Ja genau haha. I say when he finishes his sentence, I'm smiling and nodding.
I have no idea what he said. This is my trick.
Whenever someone makes pleasant conversation in German and I don't want to prolong the conversation by saying wie bitte? (pardon) or Ich verstehe nicht (I don't understand) etc. and then of course hear some pleasant social crap in English -- I do this.
Ja genau haha. and I smile and nod. Yes, exactly haha. then I look around. If everyone is still smiling, I did well.
Most men will understand what I mean by this. We do this when we're not paying attention to relatives and stuff. Ya, haha. When everyone's laughing.
Of course, someday this is going to backfire on me.
I'm really upset because my dog died this afternoon.
Yes, exactly, haha.
TheOne® looks at me from the corner of her eye. She keeps her mouth shut. Good.
Of course she knows I didn't get the joke. She knows my Ja genau haha sound, lol
I put the baggage on the belt. It's about 45 kilos (not bad) but I know TheOne®'s cabin suitcase weighs another 15 kilos. It's full of albums and stuff.
Is that it? He says in German.
Can I put more?
I place her cabin suitcase on the belt.
He's still grinning as he waves it all in and gives us out boarding passes. The 2 of them are still talking about Bad Nauheim.
God bless Bad Nauheim.
|20th February 2010, 21:34||#142|
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YetiBlog® - 2nd January 2010, the flight home.
The flight to Kuwait is not much to talk about. Uneventful and a bit fitful.
We have 4 hours to kill at Kuwait Airport. To be honest, it isn't easy. Kuwait Airport is not very exciting.
Shopping is limited, I buy some chocolates and sea-salt covered pistachio nuts (LOVE those!) and we spend some time at McDonalds and stuff.
I see some strange travellers. Indian of course but they well, look like they wouldn't usually travel by plane.
I'm going to be careful how I word this.
I realise that this is probably a lot funnier when I relate the story to people, but not very funny to write down and of course chance on the possibilty of treading on someone's feet or feelings.
As I write this, I've decided to tone down the humour. I'd have dropped it.
Except for the fact that the lady in front of me in the line to board the plane is carrying...
She's carrying a bucket. An honest-to-goodness bucket. Like a big bucket. Bathroom bucket. An Indian bathroom bucket. An old bathroom ka bucket with a rusty handle.
The lady in front of me in the line, to board the plane is carrying a plastic ka balti.
It's her hand luggage. It is full of stuff I can't see. No actually I can't bear to see.
I look around. I can smell underarm odour. Hmm. Where does it...
The guy behind me has his bag on his head. With his right hand he is supporting the bag on his head (hence the underarm ka baas) and in his left hand he has a potli.
What the heck is going on here? I look around, not sure what to think.
I see some elderly bearded men and some elderly bearded ladies. It occurs to me suddenly.
I'm on a Haj ka plane.
From Kuwait to Bombay.
And I am surrounded by a single group of people who are from somewhere in Rural Gujarat. For whom this is probably the second flight of their lives. Assuming they flew to Kuwait.
My mind is telling me to be kind. They are my own people. They are poor and probably they, or their families saved up a long time in order for them to complete this important religious pilgrimage, necessary to every Muslim.
I must be kind. I must not complain and I must be nice to them.
But then I'm human. I am a person who is fussy about planes and seats and smells and new aircrafts and good-looking crew and fancy meals and the contant urge and effort to be upgraded to Business Class.
I enjoy flying and I do a lot of it. Should I be ashamed at wanting to fly in comfort and style?
Especially since I know that the flight ticket is often what someone makes in one whole year of hard labour in India?
I want to be kind. But my neighbour is slurping his water from a glass LOUDLY and his wife is complaining loudly about something.
AC chaloo karo shouts someone else to the stewardess who of course speaks no Hindi.
People are standing around and talking to each other.
Please sit down. Please wear your seat belt!
SIT IN YOUR SEAT!
There is only one Indian crew member a guy who is rushing up and down. Telling people that they cannot open the window, that they do actually have seat numbers, that they cannot place their bags in the aisle.
I look at the lady trying to fit her bucket into the overhead compartment. It doesn't fit. She leaves it in the aisle.
Of course every seat in the flight is taken.
And so this flight becomes the single worst flight I have ever taken in my lifetime. Like travelling in an ST bus.
Please don't judge me. I understand people's circumstances fully well and I was not embarrassed by anyone.
I was just very uncomfortable.
The flight lands on time. Before the plane has come to a halt, at least 10 people rush up and open up the overhead compartments. The bags are falling down. The stewardesses are yelling, both on the mic and by getting over to the people.
SIt DOWN PLEASE! Nobody listens.
HALLO!! Hum land kar rahe hai abhi!
Sir please turn your mobile off. He doesn't.
Getting out of the plane is an ordeal. Everyone is falling over each other to jump off.
I'm annoyed and angry. Somehow I get my bag and get out of the plane. Not the best end to my journey.
Then I look at TheOne® and scowl angrily.
Come on Sam, they're poor people. I feel bad for them. They must have saved their whole lives to do this. They've never flown before and they don't speak English. Just imagine how they feel. Don't be angry with the situation.
I look at her in silence. I am ashamed of myself. I realise that in truth, I have a greater problem with this situation than she, as a foreigner does. And these are my people, my fellow citizens.
I carry my bag in silence on my way out of the aircraft. She's right. Again.
And I'm home again.
No. We're home again.
And so ends my little story. I apologise that I have no exciting adventure, or travel to some strange and exotic location or something that I usually can share.
Thank you anyway for your love and appreciation and for allowing me to share this with you.
Last edited by GTO : 23rd February 2010 at 09:45. Reason: Pm coming up
|The following BHPian Thanks Sam Kapasi for this useful post:|
|20th February 2010, 22:04||#143|
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Sam, I agree with you on your experience on the return flight. My family and I had the EXACT same experience with Emirates from Dubai to Bangalore in the January of 2008.
I also feel bad for them, but I am also a little put off by their absolute lack of manner, courtesy and etiquette. It's not that I dont want them on the flight, but I would much rather they behave properly and respect the other passengers.
However, in our country, that is pushing it. Expecting so much is a recipe for disappointment. The problem is that people have a lot of other problems to take care of before they can think of courtesy and manners.
|20th February 2010, 23:26||#144|
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|22nd February 2010, 11:13||#146|
Join Date: Jan 2008
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I had the exact same experience on my fllight back from Frankfurt...we stopped at Mumbai as two flights were being combined back to Bangalore...and it was probably the worst flight of my life...
Well I slept through most of it...but as most of you who have traveled to the old Bangalore airport know, getting my luggage was really really very difficult.
|22nd February 2010, 11:19||#147|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Thanked: 8 Times
Great report Sam. Your travelogues are always fun to follow. It was a long time, you had posted one and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Do post more such reports when you find time.
|22nd February 2010, 13:31||#148|
Join Date: Aug 2006
Thanked: 7 Times
@Sam you have subtly put across the feelings of seeing your rural countrymen travelling by flight. On a lighter note you have confronted two different ends of the social spectrum : 1) the community of the people who were returning from Haj and 2) the people who would not have loved u calling Mumbai as Bombay in that post !! Quote > I'm on a Haj ka plane. From Kuwait to Bombay. <UnQuote
|22nd February 2010, 14:35||#149|
Join Date: Apr 2008
Thanked: 257 Times
As always, its been fun reading and following your trips.
|22nd February 2010, 15:09||#150|
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Awesome log Sam. You are really skilled that your logs are capable to virtually take people to those places that you have visited ! Excellent narration and pics.
By the by, we Indians should not even consider this as a matter. We are born to adjust everywhere, even at places where we shouldnt be actually adjusting. I have been through the same experience many times, and these are the moments that open our eyes and make us realize that how fortunate we have been all through our life. Our sorrows dont qualify to be, in comparison to the ones that these people carry.
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