Sunday, 26 June 2011

Pointless smiles and useless charm

As of many single travels, an upgrade was surely there to be taken. A smile and a friendly face would always put you in good stead with a check-in girl, I just didn't count on the one I picked to be the middle aged, grumpy one. I barely got a glance back, despite the endless "how are you today" and "thank you very much". I was early and, along with the fact I was starving, the recommendation from Oliver Tyler was fresh in my mind. I had a fantastically expensive fry-up at Gordon Ramsey's "Plane Food", which was in many ways a good English send off. However my good culinary experienced stopped there. I was quick to whip out the on-board entertainment and was well into Heston Blumenthal's "Mission Impossible" program when the food came round. This week it was his job to turn around BA's in flight food. Brilliant! As every other rational person would, I was excited to try this new, innovative menu. However I was greeted by rice, with a little bit of chicken in it. I was clearly not on one of the participating flights and in fact I am pretty sure my flight's food budget was cut to pay for Heston's seaweed shepherd's pie and 'real wine' gums. The flight was only slightly delayed and I arrived at 04.15 Indian time (4 and a half hours ahead of real time). The immigration que was horrendous and after a hot 40 minuet wait I got to the front. I don't know if I was still in my "charm and get an upgrade mode" but I really pissed off the Indian women behind the counter who refused me entry, due to address details, and send me to the interview rooms. Now they must have been short this day as I didn't even get my own room. I was sat next to a man who stole a visa and was working illegally. This stone faced women must have thought that both our crimes were equal as she spoke to us alternatively, switching from where are you staying and why, and this is stolen and your going down fool. After an hour I was told "you can go now" but that was a lie. I have to sit in an hour long que to get back to the same lady who refused me. I dropped the charm this time and it seemed to work. I was greeted at the airport by the entire nation of India, despite still being dark. I met my driver, given away my "Mr Oliver Rilley". As we got up to his car I apologised for the wait and then was quickly aware that the man who was going to drive me for the next 2 and a half hours spoke absolutely no English what so ever. The drive however was... fun. You may have heard the noise of the horn being used like crazy when seeing scenes of India on TV, and it may look chaotic, however it is amazing. It is like they are all animals communicating with one another and it does actually work... ish. I staying with a family (and 13 extra children they look after) but that is for another day. Sorry about no photos at the moment. Should be able to get some on here soon.

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