Friday, April 16, 2010

Still Stateside

I'm sitting in the Crown Plaza in Long Island, New York instead of on the plane to Mumbai. We've not even left the states and we've had first crazy little experience. (Forgive me if this post if rife with typos. I wanted to be sure to get this story down before I forgot, and it's been a long day.)

It started when we found the Air India check in counters in JFK. I didn't really suspect anything while we were waiting in line. Then a man approached the end of the line and asked where we were traveling from. We were allowed to skip in front of everyone else in line, along with a couple of ladies from LA and a man from Minneapolis. Mike and I were the only westerners in line, the others were the most western dressed. I looked at Mike and asked him what that was about. Why did we get to skip in front of everyone else. Mike shrugged, "that's just how these things work."

As it turned out, being in the front didn't help us much. Our flight was "indefinitely delayed." Mike said to me, "You know, I've never taken an Air India flight that has left on time."

After much ado, we found ourselves with new tickets to a flight taking off tomorrow at an as of yet undetermined time. We were told to wait along the back wall and eventually a bus would come to take us to a hotel. There were no chairs around, so we, like everyone else trying to get to Mumbai, sat on the floor and waited. And waited. And we wait some more. Mike talked with an employee to find out more information. She seemed very helpful and said she would find out and let us know. She never came back. We waited for about three hours on the floor of the airport until I heard someone tell someone else that the bus was outside.

I think we were on that bus for about 2 and a half hours. No one really complained until almost 2 hours into the trip when the bus driver took an exit that was off by 5 miles and had to turn around. "You are lost!" I heard a woman exclaim. "What in the h--l is this?" A man grumbled and his seat partner told the driver that he should use that GPS stuck to the windshield. (I agreed!) I realized that everyone else disliked the situation just as much as I did. But I guess perhaps they knew more of what to expect, and so they didn't complain at the inconveniences until it got ridiculous.

I can't tell you how many hotels we passed. "I bet," Mike whispered to me, "that they're taking us to an Indian-run hotel." Which they were. There was a Holiday Inn Express just a few minutes outside the airport, but they took us to Long Island? That hotel ended up being full anyway, so we had to get back on the bus. The woman at the hotel said that the next hotel was five minutes down the road. I couldn't help but ask very loudly, "Is it actually five minutes?" I was told it was. Unfortunately, we were on that bus for another half-hour before arriving at a Crown Plaza. In 30 minutes, one passes many hotels in Long Island, but not many that are staffed by Indians. I suppose it was good for my fellow frustrated travelers because for dinner, we got a buffet of Indian food. Too spicy for me, though, and I ordered the quesadilla off the menu. (See last post about canker sore from hell.)

We sat down to eat around 11pm. We ate with the businessman who was returning home to India after a trip to Minneapolis. While we had been waiting in line along side each other at the airport, the man shared with us that he was a Christian. This was pretty cool. While talking with him over dinner, however, it became apparent that our new friend was really passionate about Jesus. It was really encouraging to spend some time fellowshipping with this man.

There was nothing we could do but just go with the flow. Before we left, he told me many times that we'll often just have to "go with the flow" and leave our own agenda's behind. We're not sure what's going to happen tomorrow and we haven't been told anything. We trust that God will get us to Dhaka safely and in His perfect timing. And anyway, this gives my canker sore one extra day to heal.

1 comment:

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

Crazy. I'm glad you got to meet the guy from Minneapolis. This is turning into a very interesting trip already! :-)

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