Wednesday, March 16, 2011

thirty one transit hours. My door to the Taj Coromandel in Chennai. I am not quite sure why the stop at Chicago O;Hare was added in, but it was a very very long trip. So I will start out with the awesome, here is a pic of Saul

on Sara's BMW

My pal Dale has taught me, "when traveling, drink until you arrive." The Bloody Mary at SFO started out the day with some tomato juice and a little greenery.

I'm not sure if this has happened to you, but often, in a crowd, you will notice someone, and think "OH NO. a trainwreck. a real hot mess" only to be chased down by it? Waiting in line to board the flight, there was the guy. Kind of goofy hair, a little geeky, a little, err, smelly looking. something is a bit off, a Hot Mess.

Traveling this trip with Ms. Johnson, my fearless assistant, and probably replacement in the future. The goal is to teach her the 'social' side of doing business in India. Just as Keith Mountford (RIP) taught me. It is not about meetings, emails, goals, telepresence, etc. It is about knowing someone, and building a true and positive relationship. Well, that's our goal. and 300 hours later, plus some rest, and we will begin Jedi training.

However, back to our flight. Apparently, I was drunk in my office when booking this flight. Because I agreed to the dread "middle seat" for the Chicago leg. NEVER the middle seat. NEVER.

Who is in the asile seat in our row? Mr. Hot Mess himself. And as they say, if you allow someone the time, they will prove themselves. not 10 mins into the flight, he begins serious nose excavation. Not your average 'dart and pick', no, our seat neighbor is digging for gold. Mining nose candy mountain. While furiously and incorrectly fighting with a Soduku puzzle, and farting like a madman. AND? rubbing the product onto the SEAT! not 10 mins into the trip, I already need a shower.

Quick layover at O;Hare. I cannot get off the plane fast enough. We walk out of our United gate, and? NEXT GATE is the Lufthansa boarding gate. No, seriously, no mad runs across the airport, no mess, no fuss. Walk tot he unoccupied counter, and get boarding passes, with one hour and thirty minutes to spare. Chili's airport for a sandwich and hooray.

O'Hare to Frankfurt, all I can really remember is packed flight, sitting in the back, and my behind hurts from the seat. Colleen managed to talk the lady next to her to swap seats with me, so we sat together and worked crosswords.

Frankfurt, longer layover, unclean bathroom, nice airport lounge for a wonderful fruit salad

And boarding for Chennai? not in the same glassed off room usually for Bangalore. This was at a humane gate, where you could walk out, and, say, go to the smelly bathroom two more times.

The gate agent told us we could not re-book, and it was a very full flight. Sit, rest, relax some, stretch, then boarding time, it goes quickly. TOO quickly. and? turns out to be a somewhat empty fight. I had 2 seats, window/asile, to myself. and could stretch out? very nice. I was actually stunned how empty it was. She had 2 seats as well.

By this time, we are so loopy, nothing actually matters, and there is really falling asleep in seats, for ~ 4 hours of flight. I watched some horrible movie with Drew Barrymore, and I cannot really recall what it was, then slept fitfully.

Arrive Chennai, it is hot, there is a certain smell in the airport. but no crowd at immigration control. No problem getting in and through. The luggage takes its time coming, and the cool orange strap I bought for my bag did not make it, someone has opened, but removed nothing from the blue bag. all our business comes, with NO security chalk on any of it.

All the things brought? made it through safely. Kumar, your xBox is on its way. (:)

Quickly through customs, and out into the heat. at 1am. hot, no driver, no sign. and the battery is dead on my iphone, and I am not bright enough to remember the cool charger Brad gave me, because my brain is mostly shut down. I cannot phone Mahdevan, who Aparna specially picked out.

SOme taxi expediter sees us and yells "no no no, driver pickup is here" and points us right at a guy from the Taj holding sign with both our names on it. The hotel arranged a driver? Where is our guy? Not seeing anyone else with sign and our name, and too tired to think, we get into Taj car, and are whisked away to hotel. Quick and near unconscious check in, and up to room. Log on, and find Aparna on chat, telling us "why did we shine our man" Sad. will fix this today, with apologies to Madhevan.

Before sleep, they brought evening tea service. Let me tell you, this is very very nice

SO! am here. Ate tons of carbs on the flights and stopovers, felt bloated and heavy. Took shower (used shampoo, as I felt horrible, but washcloth and warm water for all else, and am good to sleep. Except I wake up every 1 hour on the dot to pee. a lot. and? feel quite less bloated. At 7:am, I can sleep no more. I know this evening will be a touch jet-laggy, but not too bad I hope.

Hoping to call Ms. Aparna out after lunch, to do some tour/shop/chat, and unload much of the schwag I brought in. Maybe even dinner. Tonight will be early to bed

Friday? to the office.

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