Three flights to beautiful Tennessee

Three flights to beautiful Tennessee
It’s not such a happy feeling taking three flights going back and forth into time and across the world. But if it is coming to see your grand babies, anything is surmountable.

So my journey began from Bangalore, India. Because of the scary behaviour of cab drivers in Bangalore, with women. And the fact that I have had two scares, I prefer travelling by bus to the BAIL International Airport in Bangalore. So I put Rs 250 into the pocket of my jacket which I always travel in to ward off the chill of the aircon in airports and ‘planes. My husband dropped me off at the bus stop on top of the road and we waited till the bus arrived. The conductor always lunges forward to help carry on my suitcases and in seconds I am off to the airport.

I wait out the five hours before the gates to BA open up at 3:45 am. It’s pretty easy spending the next five hours reading a book and scoffing the buns stuffed with cheese for dinner. Soon, I am the first in the que to go to the ticket counter, which is nice as the guy does not bother that I am 1 kg overweight, in one of my bags. He gives me the aisle seat that I ask for, as I like stretching my legs or going to the loo at will, instead of asking a fellow passenger and crossing over legs.

The flight out to London is uneventful even though I get called out to be rechecked with the “high alert” extra check being done in the BIAL airport. The woman is almost apologetic and lets me off with a cursory check of my bags. I settle into my aisle seat and immediately switch on the TV screen to check the movies on offer.

The plane is packed going to London, but I don’t really care as I have my aisle seat and I can see the Bohemian Rhapsody in the line up. I sit and watch marveling at the mastery of Mercury over the crowds and he is an immigrant out of India, whom I believe are far better skilled than the locals. Then checking on the other drama films I find “ A Star is Born” and “ Green Book.” The food as always is atrocious on BA and worse for a diabetic, but I just get on with it and ignore the irritation, as I always enjoy my trips.

In London, the security check was surprisingly easy, as the lady helping us push our stuff through security was Indian and she alerted me to remove my bracelet and put it into the bag. I immediately did that and was so pleased, because I sailed through and was out the other end in seconds,picking up my laptop and phone, pulling on my jacket and hitching on my back pack.
I had gone backwards by five hours from India time. So I was still on the 21st of March. So that was the first movement backwards in time for me.

In London I had to wait for my gate to be announced inspite of the long drive from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3 in a bus through massive Heathrow. The weather was pretty mild as we came down the steps to get into waiting buses. Heathrow is such an old airport and handles millions of travellers and flights non- stop through the day and night. I take BA primarily because I want the free stop over to see my son, who lives in the UK usually on my return.Otherwise the planes and the food are nothing to compare, with airlines like Sri Lankan and Ethihad.

So I search for my gate to catch my flight onwards to Chicago, O’Hare airport. No need to bother with the luggage, it will be sent onwards till Chicago, said the airline associate who gave me my boarding card in Bangalore. The gates start becoming familiar to me as I travel the same route twice a year. Again I am called aside to be rechecked and I open all my bags and let them go through my stuff. I just pray they don’t hassle me about my insulin injections which I have carried to last me over the three months, I am away.

On this flight I am seated at an exit row seat and that’s fine. However I have never used their TV screens which are bent downwards on this row and the food tray as well is folded, into the arm rest. I force myself to learn how to lever it up but no luck, so ask the attendant. I settle back with my blanket and check the films. There are heaps to see as I watch only drama. The Michael Caine thriller “ King of Thieves” keeps me busy and his fantastic acting abilities. Soon, I begin to start nodding off because it’s a long day, being stretched even longer with the changes of time. We are flying backwards yet again and so my head starts nodding off in the middle of the movie.

I am woken up for a meal by the hostess and am glad that the food on the American Airlines is far superior to the BA meal. For me a diabetic I need to eat and the carbs seem to be missing on this meal, thankfully.There is a nice large hunk of chicken and a bit of cheese and best of all, a decent sized can of coke. The BA can of Diet Coke, could not be smaller. I sleep for a while and then get up for a snack which they come around offering us. I am given a veggie snack. They definitely don’t have dieticians on planes, as my neighbours get chicken and fish which would have been better for me.

We land in the massive Chicago airport and after getting off the transit bus I get onto the transit Airtrain, which takes me to my terminal from which I will fly out. Thankfully I rush and do not dwadel as going through security they pull me aside to check me. I stand like a dangerous criminal, waiting and waiting while the rest go past me by virtue of their passports. It’s a horrible feeling and finally I am checked after an hour, along with two other passengers. I am going to miss my flight says the lady along with me and that’s when I begin to worry. I ask the time and am told its 10 pm and my flight is at 10: 10pm.

I beg to be let off as I was going to miss my flight. They do and I run as fast as my legs carry me and it’s quite a long way away. G1 said the board and I was doing 100 metres sprints. Finally I came upon a tiny group boarding and managed to get on board as the last passenger on, literally. Sitting in my seat in the tiny plane with just 50 passengers I was glad I was on the last leg of my journey. As the plane bent sideways to come in to land, I was glad to see the welcoming lights of Knoxville. A tiny airport which is far superior to the huge, impersonal ones I had left behind.

It was good to be in and I stood at the single carousel with a rather small crowd, to collect my luggage. As I collected my two suitcases that tumbled out, I turned to drag them behind me and go out into the cold Tennessee air, to my son who was waiting there in welcome. What a relief to see him there, after that long and tedious journey.

Life was good I thought as I was getting into his Beamer ( BMW) that he loves and racing home in the dead of night. The family was asleep as I crept into bed and it was so good to have reached at last.










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This content was written by Marianne de Nazareth. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Marianne de Nazareth for details.