Tuesday, June 06, 2006

MacLeodganj Trip: Day 1, Part 1: Mum-Del

Mumbai gave us the classic send-off; how could it not? Pouring rain, flooded roads, traffic jams, howling wind, and dirty ankle-deep water. Reach airport soaked to the skin. Promptly head for the loo and change. Air Deccan is surprisingly only 30 mins late. That 30 mins goes in spreading out wet clothes all over waiting lounge to dry, stealing toilet paper from the stalls to dry the shoes, and calculating potential courses of action to catch the train. It leaves at 9:30 from NDLS; NDLS is 45 mins on a good day from Palam. So we need to be out of the airport and in cab by 8:15 latest. Which looks very unlikely; so we're running scenarios, alternates like a gambler watching his credit limit steadily dwindling while he waits for that one combination to come through that'll let him walk home with it all.
Takeoff at 7. We have someone called Captain Cook at the helm; and the capt introduces us to a new feature of this airline, called 'orbiting'.
No, it's not a spaceplane. It just means we go round and round Delhi and assorted smaller towns while the aisle fills up with bits of gnawed nails. People are getting so frantic they're switching on their cells already; the plane fills with the celestial music of 'no network' signals.

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