Kim's Journals

Kim's HomeIndia 2006Coming home


India 2006

Coming home |

Well, it's about that time folks. We spent Sunday morning hanging out with the family, getting in the last home-cooked meal before we headed out to the airport.

After some last-minute shopping, and some hurried packing, we were off to the Chennai airport, bags in tow. It was sad to say goodbye, and for that reason, I generally dislike most airports...but we had to do what we had to do. Austin was calling.

The flight into Delhi was pretty uneventful. Due to cloudy skies the way there, we couldn't really see much of the countryside from the air. Just the fuzzy outline of some roads and rivers here and there.

Once in Delhi, the fun began. Because of the way the airports are situated, there is one for domestic travel (our arrival airport) and one for international (the one from which we needed to depart). We arrived at the domestic airport with no tickets, no boarding passes, nothing. We found our way to our bags, and then it was on to the airport shuttle. That part was easy enough. It was the next stretch that was the killer.

We arrived at the international airport and exited the shuttle into a sea of people. Literally. There was no rhyme or reason as to why 2,000 people were congregating outside of the airport, nor did there seem to be any lines at first sight. The catch was that we had to get into the airport to get our tickets. But we couldn't get into the airport without our tickets. Luckily, the guards at the door took our word for it that our itinerary print out was legitimate. One hurdle down. Several more to come.

Once inside, the craziness continued. Another sea of people, another maze to find our way through. So we decided to divide an conquer. Amar took the bags through security to re-screen them, and I got in line to get our tickets. I had the itinerary and our passports, as well as Amar's green card. I was set. I kept an eye on where Amar was and made my way to the agent at the front of the line. We timed it perfectly, as Amar joined me just in time to pick up our tickets.

The agent flipped through our passports and asked to see Amar's green card. Last I knew, it was in his passport like it always was. But not this time. PANIC!! That was the ONE THING that he asked me not to lose. If that card was gone, the next six months of our lives were completely turned on end. I told the agent to check again, it HAD to be in his passport. Nope. No dice.

Total fear/anxiety/panic/disbelief.

I rushed back to the other line I was in, urgently asking the other agent if she had seen a green card. She flatly said that I didn't give her one earlier. At this point, there were about 5,000 people who had passed directly over the place in line that I last was. I said a few brief prayers, and started rushing through the airport, eyes on the ground, searching for the card. We had to find that card or I was going back to the U.S. by myself, Amar unlikely to be able to join me for several months.

All of a sudden, the crowds parted. It was like a scene out of a movie. There it was, halfway out of its envelope, peeking out at me from the bustling Delhi floor. The clouds parted, and rays of sunshine broke through. We.were.saved.

Ok - so that's a bit of a dramatic take on things, but seriously, we were up a creek without the green card for a few panic-filled moments. I nearly threw up.

Wow. I'm probably totally boring you by now and I'm realizing that I'm not even halfway done here....speeding up.

We waited in line for the very detailed and all-important security check for about 18 hours, it seemed. But we finally made it through to the gates and onto the long leg of the journey. The 16 hour flight from Delhi to Chicago went smoothly enough. A little bumpy here and there, but we arrived on time to Chicago.

Once in Chicago, we found out that our Austin flight had been canceled. Interesting. This was the first we were hearing about it. So bags in tow yet again, we made our way back to the ticketing counter, and though we were told we'd already been put on the next flight, wound up actually getting put on the flight after next. Which got delayed. Twice. After some quality time at O'Hare at the American terminal, an airport breakfast at Chili's, a lost sweater, a call to the airport police, several cups of coffee, and several newspapers, we were winging our way back to Austin.

Our bags were waiting patiently for us, becuase apparently, they had been put on the earlier flight. Good for them. All in all, it was a good trip and we're glad to be back. If you see us around town and we're zombies, you know why. We love y'all. Thanks for keeping up with us here :)

Locations Visited: Chennai, Delhi, Chicago, Austin

Add Comment

Comment Policy:

Only signed in members can comment on journal entries. Please sign in now or register if you would like to leave a comment. Comments are sent to the owner of this journal for approval before being made live on the site.