365 Days of Writing – Day 64

Business Class seats

Belated report on the flight to India. I think I’m totally spoiled. Can I ever sit in a coach set again? I know, no one is going to feel sorry for me! Believe me I’m not looking for sympathy. I flew to Newark to make the connection to New Delhi. Most people boarding the flight to India at 8:30pm were on East Coast time so were ready for dinner. It was 5:30 by my internal clock and I’d had lunch just 3 hours earlier!

That didn’t stop me from ordering and eating my second large meal in five hours. I’ve learned not to turn down food on a flight. I hate waking up hungry. I hate disturbing everyone around me as I rise in search of a snack to stop my tummy rumbling. Thanks to Top Chef’s airplane food challenge I know what to order. Food with good fat content survives the affects of hight altitude better than lean foods. Ever since learning that I order the meat, doesn’t matter – tenderloin, lamb or duck. I also will order salmon. To be avoided – chicken! I tried the vegetarian “log” very aptly named – it was like chewing bark. I wasn’t surprised. It was worth a try. I had the lamb and veggie couscous. Very tasty. I watched Cloud Atlas. What a strange movie. I would actually rent it so I could play the how many roles does each actor have to assume game. I read the NY Times I’d picked up back in LA. I got mad at the business section article which said that we don’t need a minimum wage – the market will keep wages fair. Really? Companies won’t decide to keep wages low to save themselves some money? Employees will refuse to work for a lower wage? Are you kidding? I had to convince my daughter – a smart, well educated young woman – not to work for free. If someone had offered her $5.00 an hour she’d have taken it. She wouldn’t have held out for the $11.00 an hour job at In & Out – that’s not what she wants to do. She wants to work in a field that interests her and don’t think employers wouldn’t exploit that given a chance. The reporter clearly was out of touch.

I didn’t start to feel sleepy until around 11pm my time, I hadn’t changed my watch. Except for one or two people basked in the glow of their movie screens, everyone was asleep. My seat mate, who I’d had not even two words with (still don’t know his name) was curled up and wearing the blackout mask they give you in the little business class goodie bags. I pressed the button with the image of a flat bed. As my seat began to slide out I heard thump. Uh oh, what had fallen? I returned to the upright position and crawled around in the dark feeling around the floor – I found my glasses and my iPod! After properly stowing my stuff, I once again turned my seat into a flat bed. I was able to get pretty comfortable. I learned not to tuck my knees up – when I did I hit the control for the screen and blasted myself with the unexpectedly bright blue light from the previously dormant screen. Thank goodness I didn’t wake the guy next to me – we’ll call him Brian just for ease (except I may not mention him again).

Thanks to menopause I kept getting too hot then too cold. It’s a constant blanket off, blanket on dance with your hormones! When I finally decided that I wasn’t going to be able to lull myself back to dream land – I unsuccessfully tried listening to a two week old podcast of PRI’s The World – I looked at my watch. 5am. Well, that’s my wake up time. I pressed the slightly more upright seat picture, pulled out the Kindle and began to read John Irving’s “In One Person.” Wow! He writes to me. His characters come off the page and walk around inside my head and my gut. They are so familiar even though he and I are generations and geography apart. Just proves the cliche that if you write the personal you will get the universal. A few pages into the book my tummy started to grumble, yes, despite my too early dinner. I tried to ignore it but my body was waking up and wanted food! All I could get out of the flight attendants was a glass of OJ. Two of those and I was okay to wait until breakfast. Does it sound like all you do on flights is eat? That’s the truth. I’m going to put on the UnitedAirlines 15!

I decided to watch “Rock of Ages” while enjoy my cheese omelette. I won’t go into detail about the movie, I already mentioned in my previous podcast.

As the plane touched down, the credits were rolling. Such a smooth arrival, I wasn’t even sure we had landed until, Brian – yup got to mention him again – lifted the window shade. I’m in India! Wow!

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