Thursday, September 27, 2007

Crossing the Pond-Day Three

Sunday, May 18, 1997

Our luggage is already in India, while we are here in London. (I just like writing that word. London.) I had spare shirts in my carryon. I borrowed (stole) one from Big Daddy. I wanted something of his. Unfortunately, I have to let Bob borrow it because he washed the shirt on his back in the sink and then proceeded to scorch it whilst drying it on the heated towel rack.

We arrived at Heathrow on time for our flight. We stood in another goat rope and finally got boarding passes. The flight over was uneventful and very, very long. The plane was packed and I was seated between two Indian boys who were returning home. They gave me the finer points of bartering. When I told them I was staying at the Sea Princess, the reaction I received led me to believe that I was going to be staying at really, really nice place. They gave me the window seat.

We arrived in Bombay at night. Bob says this is a good thing, because the view of the slums from the air might discourage me. The airport is old and run down. We have someone greet us at the gate and walk us through immigration and customs. After all the delays and missed flights, we only had one bag come up missing.

Anup is the factory owner. I’ve corresponded with him frequently in faxes and by phone, but I’ve never gotten to meet him. His brother lives in America and I see him frequently. Anup however looks more ‘western’ than his brother despite the fact that he’s only been to the States once and can’t get a Visa to come back. He takes us to get something to eat. We go to the ‘Holiday’, because he wants us to feel comfortable. I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten at the Holiday Inn at home.

It’s 3:30 in the morning and I’m no where near ready to sleep. I have to be up and around by 9:30, so I decide to just stay up.

I try to call Big Daddy, but it’s near impossible to dial out. I tried for over an hour. If I don’t leave word soon, he’s going to freak.

As the sun came up I looked out my window.


I saw palm trees and people sleeping.

This was so odd. It was if when they got sleepy, they just laid down wherever they were. There were throngs of people everywhere. And dogs. Dogs are everywhere and appear unafraid of anything. Everything was jumbled together-the people and the dogs and the cars. There aren’t any marked lanes on the street. There’s no order. People just drive in any direction weaving in and out of each other. There are no turn signals. They honk. In fact I saw a large dump trunk carrying people. (public transportation?) The sign in the back said HONK OK PLEASE.

I looked for cows. I know, I know, how silly can you be? But I did.

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