Monday, July 16, 2012


Days 1-3 - 13Jul2012-15Jul2012

Salt Lake City -> Chicago -> London -> Bahrain -> Chennai

Wow!  What a crazy beginning to this adventure!  I arrived in Chennai this morning, 16Jul2012.  But before I get into that, let's talk about how I got here.  And this is going to be a long post, but a lot has happened!

It all started in SLC.  Amy and I met at the airport.  We gave each other a huge hug and couldn't believe the time had actually come.  Little did we know what we were in for.

Our original flight from SLC to Chicago was delayed and since we had a tight connection in Chicago, we were rebooked on an earlier flight on a different airline.  Bad move.  Once we arrived in Chicago we were stuck on the tarmac for 2 hours waiting for a gate to open.  Apparently, there was some really bad weather around Chicago and a lot of planes were diverted there, leaving the airport overrun with planes.  Once a gate opened for us, we had just 15 minutes to make our connecting flight.  Now, if you are familiar with the Chicago O'Hare airport, you know that it is huge!  And we had to go to a completely different terminal (because we changed airlines, remember?).  Amy and I literally ran a mile with our giant backpacks on in those 15 minutes.  We had people cheering for us!  It was like a scene from a movie, we were so close.  And then I heard the dreaded words, "Last call for flight # 98 to London at gate K16."  I started sprinting.  I turned the corner and at that moment, yelled as loud as I could "K16! Wait!"

Amy and I just after barely making the flight to London.
We had made it!  Well...we had made THAT flight.  Once we reached London, we had about 45 minutes to make our connection to Chennai.  I thought that was totally doable since we were rockstars and had made the previous flight in 15 minutes.  Not so.  In the London, Heathrow airport, you have to be checked into your terminal 45 minutes before your flight.  And our connection was not in the same terminal.  Unfortunately for us, we had an airport attendant stop us as soon as we go off the plane, tell us we'd missed our connection, and that we would need to go to the transfer desk to be re-routed.  At the transfer desk the next flight (or should I say flights?) they could get us on to Chennai were not until the next day.  Needless to say, we spent the night in London.

Fortunately for us, the airline put us up in a fairly nice hotel close to the airport.  We didn't really have time to see anything in London, but we did have some funny experiences.

1. Money exchange - $20 = 9 pounds...not really sure how that works, but it does.  We had an fun time looking at all the money.
2. People in England have bad teeth.  This is NOT a myth.  Example: Shuttle bus driver trying to give us directions to our hotel.  His breath could have killed someone if the plaque on his teeth didn't reach out and strangle you first.
3. "Set Down Only" is equivalent to "Hey, this bus is just dropping people off."
4. Refer to #1 - How much do you tip if you have no idea what the money conversion is?
5. People in England are much much more polite than people in America.
6. Eat the "American" breakfast in England.  It's quite ironic.

After spending the night in London we began our third day of traveling.  Our new flights to Chennai included a layover in Bahrain.  Where is Bahrain, you ask?  I didn't know either.  Bahrain is an island nation off the coast of Saudi Arabia.  Scary?  Nah...just interesting.  Amy and I were definitely gawked at.  But the people were nice enough.  However, the flight from London to Bahrain is when Amy and I really lost it.  We became...delirious...maybe a bit delusional.  I honestly don't remember much from that 6 hour flight other than the random giggle fit we both had.  Seriously, we both woke up and Amy asked me how long we'd been in flight.  I had my watch and told her only an hour and half.  The giggle  that followed cannot and will not ever be recreated.  We laughed from that point on about nothing and everything; from the little spoon to the random parts of our bodies that hurt for no reason (like the bridge of my nose and Amy's leg creases).  A very interesting flight indeed.

Once in Bahrain everything went smoothly.  It was a very interesting place with interesting people.  I'm not sure why the women dress all in black and only let their eyes show; or why the men dress in really long white button-up shirts with a white piece of fabric held on their heads by a black idea, but it was an experience.  Bahrain is where I used my first "squatter."  If I need to explain what that is, well, I'm not going to, so look it up.  This whole trip is a trip of firsts.

First Class
Our last flight from Bahrain to Chennai was a pleasant surprise.  We were upgraded to first-class for no reason at all.  A first for both of us.  We had HUGE seats and a menu for our meal.  We even had the opportunity, nay, the privilege of playing Tetris on our individual TV sets.  But, they did spray our plane with insecticide.  Amy wasn't paying attention to the announcement about it and thought they were killing us with gas.  Weird.  A very nice way to end our crazy travel experience.

We arrived in India at 5:00AM on 16Jul2012.  That is over 24 hours past our original arrival time if everything had worked out the way it was supposed to.  We made it through immigration and customs just fine.  But as you can imagine, where oh where could our luggage be?  Definitely not with us, that's for sure.  Losing my luggage is about the only thing I absolutely did not want to happen.  Major bummer. We filled out a report and hope to get them within the next couple of days.

So, as we exited the airport after traveling for almost 4 days and losing our baggage, our only hope then was to have our driver waiting for us....I cannot explain the exuding joy that I felt when I saw my name on that sign.

We made it to India!!!

Days 1-3 Complete

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