February 24th - 10:30 PM

February 24th - 10:30 PM

A Chapter by Jim Parson



February 24th - 10:30 PM - Delhi

Well, that was interesting to read sober.  I guess I’ll avoid writing after I’ve been drinking in the future.

I’m back from dinner with a group of us and thought I’d write a little before passing out.  I’m really beat, but want to get some thoughts down before I forget.  You’ve already read how my trip started.  Well, the plane ride deteriorated rapidly from the moment I stopped writing that first passage.  At that moment, Judy and Dave returned and Judy announced she was going to sleep and stretched out in the row in front of us.  David and I then spent the next three and a half hours discussing what he was discussing with Judy, which shall remain undisclosed in this accounting.

The night before we left, I intentionally stayed up very late so that I would be tired on the plane and might sleep through much of the long flight.  Well, at 4:30 in the morning, we were still at it.  I don’t remember how, but I somehow managed to beg off to sleep and figure I was able to get about two hours before we landed in Frankfurt at about 7:00 AM (L.A. time).  Later, Judy told me she couldn’t sleep because Dave and I kept her up all night repeating the same 10 sentences over and over again.  Alcohol will do that to you.  Subsequently, I’ve heard others weren’t very happy with us either for keeping them awake.  Oh well.  I blame Dave.

We got off the plane in Frankfurt, but would be taking the same plane on to Mumbai (Bombay).  It was snowing in Frankfurt, which took me a bit by surprise.  I’m not really sure why unless it’s just that I haven’t seen snow in a while.  We were supposed to leave Frankfurt an hour after landing, so after an hour we re-boarded the plane.  As luck would have it, President Bush was in Frankfurt at the same time.  We sat in the airplane for 2 hours and 45 minutes waiting for Air Force One to depart so we could take off.  With the time changes, I have completely lost all track of time, but it was 5:00 PM Frankfurt time when we boarded the plane and almost 8:00 PM when we finally took off.  The time actually went by very fast for me since I slept through most of it.

At last, we took off and were on our way to Mumbai.  We were scheduled to have a one hour layover in Mumbai also before traveling on to Delhi, but since we were 3 hours late taking off from Frankfurt (oh yeah, we also had to wait for them to de-ice the wings - it was snowing remember), we missed the connecting flight.  We reached Mumbai at about 8:30 India time this morning and were told we could catch a 10:00 AM flight, which was great.  Accept when we lined up for the 10:00 flight, we were told we would have to fly standby.  All 22 of us.  This did not go over well.

Judy Henbury is a handy person to have around.  She did something or talked to someone, I don’t know who, and we got scheduled on an Indian Air flight at 12:00 noon.  Our first polio meeting in Delhi was scheduled for 11:00 today, so we were obviously going to miss that.  But at noon, we made the flight (smaller plane, tiny leg room, packed full, sitting in the middle of two borderline obese people) and actually took off by 1:00, only an hour late, which must be an on-time record for an Indian airline.

We arrived in Delhi in Uttar Pradesh, India today at about 3:00 PM, India time.  Needless to say, I’m exhausted.

We checked into the Hyatt and I share a room with Jon Larsen, Nadine’s (from my club) son.  He’s pretty cool - a young photographer.  The Hyatt was fairly uneventful tonight.  Everyone’s suffering from jetlag, I guess.

We had a 6:00 PM meeting with a couple of Rotarians from the India National PolioPlus Committee, its Chairman, Past District Governor Deepak Kapur (in white) and Committee member PDG Raman Bhatia.  The intention was to give us some background on PolioPlus and the National Immunization Day and brief us on our role, but I don’t think anyone heard a word of it because of our serious jetlag.

After the meeting, we all met up in the bar about 7:30 and had a couple of drinks before heading over to the Hyatt café for dinner about 9:00.  I had my first Indian beer - Kingfisher.  It wasn’t that great.  Very much like Coors Light.  I don’t like Coors Light, but any port in a storm…

We won’t be spending much time here in Delhi.  Tomorrow morning, we split up and head off to our various cities.  But it was nice spending this time with the whole group and getting to know everyone a little better.

© 2011 Jim Parson

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Added on April 9, 2011
Last Updated on April 15, 2011
Tags: India, Rotary, polio, immunizations


Jim Parson
Jim Parson

Los Angeles, CA

I have been a banker for the past 28 years, but my dream has always been to write. I thought maybe it was time to give it a try. I don't think I'm the greatest writer, but I think I can tell a prett.. more..

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