Whatttttt uppppp you guys?
Or should I say, Namaste?
I’m in Bombay, India as of last night after a brutal twenty-five hours of travel including several near panic attacks and frustration bouts with the ever-so-incompetent United Airlines, having to adamantly refuse wine from a Lufthansa flight attendant on multiple occasions, and of course going through the stamina, attitude, and muscle-building exercise of having to shove through hoards of people at the baggage claim in order to muscle out my Sriracha, cocktail dress, and champagne flute-filled suitcase.
But all is well, because the darling of my life, NAZNEEN was waiting for me as soon as I entered Arrivals and we I got to meet her lovely mama over the 2 am drive home
The last time I was in India was in December of 2009, my entire fall semester was spent in this incredible country between Delhi, Varanasi, Bangalore, Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Rishikesh, Haridwar, DehraDun, Mussoorie, Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata, Mysore, and Pondicherry- but never have I been to Bombay. Over that semester I maintained a blog, Bhajis and Bollywood– and while this visit is obviously far different, I still intend to update Salt Water Coffee regularly on all the intricacies of this fascinating place.
I ended up flying economy class after painfully trying to upgrade or change my seat for at least one of my segments, however both flights were fully booked. Quelle dommage…on the plus side, economy class sure is character building; I can’t really move my neck more than forty-five degrees after the various melatonin-induced creative sleeping in awkward fetal positions I had to contort myself into; and I penned out a seventeen page vent sesh in my journal about the appalling customer service on US airlines (particularly United and American). And no, I know it’s not just because I was flying economy this time, because the staff BOTH at check-in and on board my connecting flight with Lufthansa were incredibly gracious, hospitable, and really insistent on giving me Riesling (which I refused since the last thing I would want is to be tipsy when enduring the dreaded riot that is baggage claim.)
Oh well. Note to self (and to all my readers)- when you fly international, DO NOT fly a US airline. Seriously. They will treat you like a stubborn piece of gum lodged between their ugly United flight attendant shoes- even if you are the most docile traveler ever (such as myself) who gets their own water and chucks their own rubbish in the bin. And if it were not for my wisely packed Dave’s killer bread eggplant hummus/honey mustard/basil/thyme/roasted turkey sandwich I made myself, I would have starved to death on the initial ten hour United flight as the culinary highlight for those ten hours was a pack of 100-calorie unsalted almonds they distributed midflight.
As for Lufthansa, food was pretty dece- especially for Economy and this is coming from someone who is used to six course dining experiences on Swiss and Emirates
From top left corner and clockwise: Kheer (didn’t eat it…not a fan of Kheer), stale roll which I covered the taste of with the MANGO PICKLE (and butter because you need fats in your diet to keep you sane), gobi masala, paneer tikka, and basmati, an actually fresh raw veg salad (United gave me a small plate of discoloured romaine lettuce), and raita.
Last night after getting home to Nazu’s lovely home, the two of us stayed up in her terrace-side room until 4am chatting, crashed, then had breakfast together where she taught me how to legitimately eat a mango (more like suction it out). DELICIOUS. Mangos, coffee, little yoghurts, and little bits of toast with apricot jam!
Looking forward to these next couple of weeks, but now I have to go get changed and do something to my hair so the humidity doesn’t get the best of it!
Lots of love from India,