Sunday, December 13, 2015

It started out bad, stayed bad and then got better

No whiners allowed !! Shut up !! I'm going to whine if I want to, but I''ll end on an up note.

I don't generally drink for the sake of drinking. I am in the lounge having a vodka tonic.

Last night after dinner I was in the room and reception or bookkeeping or someone called. I had booked the first night through Booking.com and the next two nights via Radisson's website. I used a different credit card for each. The Booking one wanted a credit card to hold the room, and the Radisson on wanted prepayment to get the good rate. What should have been an easy, “Keep the room on the card, I'll pay cash for the incidentals” Turned into a 20 minute ordeal at checkout this morning after speaking to two people last night. I'll probably be double billed by the hotel and Radisson.com for those two nights. This was all before 6 am.

The plane was scheduled to leave at 8:30 so I gave it the two suggested hours prior to departure check in. After getting my checked luggage x-rayed and zip sealed, the woman at the counter tells me the plane will be delayed --- until noon. She said I couldn't check my luggage until 10. I guess the policy changed because she came over later and said I could get the luggage checked and a boarding pass.

Missing Radisson's wonderful breakfast and clean western plumbing, I finished a book. Personal and hand carried luggage security check. Was the usual pain in the brain. You know that the lack of personal space in something that makes me most wacko about this country. Men, women, grannies and the infirmed have all touched me in places I haven't been touched in years and that is just walking through the market. But every time a woman undergoes wanding for security you go into this little screened in cubby to hold out your arms and have another woman pass the metal detecting wand around your body. You can touch me, but you can't see me with my arms out ? What a crazy country.

At noon, while waiting at gate 5 for the plane, it is announced that we must now go to gate 3 downstairs. As the line got shorter and shorter I noting most people are walking up to the ground team and walking away. Everyone is carrying a small white box. In the box was a vegetable loaf, some cashews and some cookies. Then we are told to go back upstairs to gate 5.

12:30 comes and goes and finally at 1 pm we got on the plane. I stood for most of the last hour, because no matter where I sat, Typhoid Barry was around me. Lung throwing hacking cough and runny nose and no thought of covering his mouth or turning his head. I had some alcohol wipes on me and tried to bathe in them when I quit sitting near him.

I got on the plane and found my window seat. I like to think I am pretty efficient getting on and who sits on the aisle (No not Barry) Grandma. She site there with all here worldly possessions in her lap and is astounded when I don't step over her. Then she realizes you can put your stuff in the overhead compartment. I sit down and put on my seat belt. She finds the buckle half and doesn't realize she's sitting on the tab half. She looks around a bit and mimes “Well this seat didn't come with both halves” I make her get up and flop the tab half over the arm rest for her to find. Then she tries to plug the tab into the back of the buckle. I do my best Flight attendant and using the middle seat to show how it goes together and then tightens and then how to unbuckle it. Later in the flight she is nodding off and I showed her how to recline the seat. When she deplaned she gave me a big smile and a wave.

Once n Mumbai everyone crowed as close as possible to the baggage belt, so no one and reach their luggage without shoving past you. Two feet back and everyone could see their luggage and it would just take a step to pick your off the belt.

I got to the prepaid taxi stand, told her where I wanted to go. The Hilton at the airport. The driver took me to the International Terminal. I lost it, I threw the receipt and said I'll get out here and find a taxi that will drive me the 6 blocks to the hotel, all the while he is talking a mile a minute, like I am supposed to understand him. I have enough trouble understanding the people here when they do speak English. Certainly not Hindi. So he enlists the help of a passerby who tells me I owe him for the taxi, and then interrupts me when I am explaining it is a prepaid taxi. Booth he and I know that the other is an idiot. Finally the driver drives away and then points to the Hilton and says “There?” – yes

We pull up to the Hilton and one of the greeters says “Welcome back”, this is as I'm stepping out of the taxi. Of course I couldn't enter without getting wanded, in my private booth. He wand beeped at my iPhone, the change in my pocket and the metal in my bra, and I as waved directly inside. I feel so much safer now.

For some reason I am the “Customer of the day” and deserve an upgrade. The room is on the executive floor, very large and really a sweet deal. I am wondering if it has anything to do with my last TripAdvisor review on this hotel when I blasted it. My TripAdvisor account in in Dorothy Macaw’s name, but I wonder if they put the two together.

So two vodka tonics and life is back closer to an even keel.

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