Posts Tagged ‘flight’

Terrorists:can they be so barbaric? Yes, they can….

December 17, 2014

Obviously, I’ve been musing on this phenomenon of terrorism. War, in itself, is a form of terrorism; it’s always the innocent pawns who get slaughtered while the King and Queen look on from their safe fastnesses.

It’s interesting that we use the term “barbarism” to describe terrorists; the

Barbarian

according to the Wiki entry, is “a person who is perceived to be uncivilized.” but may also mean “an individual reference to a brutal, cruel, warlike, insensitive person.”

“Romans used the word “barbarian” for many people, such as the Berbers, Germanics, Celts, Carthaginians, Iberians, Thracians and Parthians.”

I thought the word derived from the Berber people, but apparently not.

Well…whatever it is..we thought we’d plumbed the depths of human cruelty when terrorists thought up a plan to send passenger aircraft hurtling into buildings. But to attack a school and kill children there brings our inhumanity to a new low.

One friend incredulously exclaimed:”No one can, atleast in full conscience (I feel), be so brutal and remorseless!”

Oh…but they can.

Several years ago, A was on a flight, and next to her was a woman soldier who told her she was returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The conversation was desultory (A did not want to pry into what was obviously an unpleasant experience the woman had had)…when the child in the seat across the aisle started crying.

The woman soldier immediately turned her head away and just shut her ears. And, later, explained why.

In Afghanistan, American soldiers would smile at a child that was wandering from the Afghan tents into their space,hoping to offer them sweets…and knowing this, the Afghans strapped explosives to the child’s body, and sent them to the American camps….where, at the moment when the most Americans could be killed or maimed, they would detonate the charge remotely….

One of the reasons the woman soldier was returning was that she could not any longer bear to see such scenes; she was returning for counselling for her deep disturbance. She said, “I cannot bear to LOOK at a child any more. I see only death and destruction and enemity when I see one.”

It stands to reason that the children were Afghan ones….so yes, humanity can be incredibly inhuman.

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November 12, 2014

Home to home, the journey took 41 hours. Very tiring; and though I managed to get an empty seat next to myself on both the long journeys (Detroit to Paris, and Paris to Bangalore), there was a lot of turbulence, bad service, terrible food (especially Paris to Bangalore, which is an Air France flight) and noisy co-passengers, so jet lag is still killing me. So I’m alternating the sights I captured with the chores I am doing.

F-15 manourvres, at St Louis airport, 051114

IMG_4709

Checking in:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/86494503@N00/15559687618/in/set-72157649193208642/player/

Over St Louis:

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Also, the minute I come home, I realize how many things have broken down, been disconnected, and so son….I have to rush around setting things right.

Sunset at Detroit airport.

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Detroit Airport.

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A sample list:

I crossed 60 on Oct 23, while I was in the US. This means that my driving licence, an important document, expired. I have to apply for a renewal within 30 days of its expiry, and the Regional Transport Office seems to have increased, not decreased, the paperwork involved. It took me 3 days to complete the paperwork, and I am now hoping that the new driving licence will be delivered properly at home by Registered Post (I do not know what will happen if I am away from home at the time the postman comes.)

Ready to leave American soil:

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Windows where the faceless travellers sit:

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I had not booked a gas cylinder for the past 180 days, so, instead of praising my lack of consumption, Indane (the gas agency) locks my consumer account. I have to go there in person, twice, with a request letter, a proof of my address and id (a xerox copy of my passport pages.) Now it will take 15 days for the cylinder to be delivered, and I’d better be at home, they won’t tell me the exact date and time when it will be delivered.

The moon reflected in the lake over Detroit:

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IMG_4839

My printer cartridge ink has dried up after 5 months of not being used, and I’ve decided to buy a new printer (I won the old one about 10 years ago in a quiz competition, so it’s run its useful life.)

Something burning in Paris:

IMG_4849

The UPS (Uninterrupted Power Service), the inverter that charges the batteries and gives me electrical power in the flat when the power is shut down, is not working. I have to call two people for this: One, the UPS company and two, the battery company, and make sure all systems are OK.

Flight in the morning mist:

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I had put my electrical bills on ECS (Electronic Clearance Service) just to prevent the power getting shut off while I was not around. And yet, some lineman from BESCOM (the Govt power company) shut off the power to my flat, and it was my maid who gave him money out of her pocket and got the electricity restored after 5 days. I am still not sure how and why BESCOME did this to me, and charged me Rs.1600 when I have no arrears.

The Seine, over Paris:

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Over Iran:

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My cell phone died exactly 7 months after I bought it, and three trips to the repair shop established that I now need to buy a new phone.

As Julie Andrews sang, I was also like the wild geese that fly “with the moon on their wings”:

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My cordless telephone at home (landline) is not working, and I need to buy another set. I’m sitting and pricing some models. I prefer to buy from the shop because I want after-sales support in case there is a problem with the product.

Dusk on the wing:

IMG_4847

My tenant has vacated the apartment I rent out, but has not yet returned the keys to me. I must organize the paining of the flat and find a new tenant, after undergoing the considerable expense of re-painting the flat. The longer I take, the more I will lose in rental. I need to get the keys and inspect the flat for damage, and so on. She has not paid the rental since June, and I have to make sure I get the money.

Landing at Paris:

IMG_4880

Unpacking to be done, too….

Jet lag, missing the Boods so very terribly and running around getting things organized…is it any wonder that I am feeling down and depressed? Long absences are the very devil…

Of course, I managed a butterfly outing and a play, too… I suppose I should’ve slept instead…but didn’t want to be only be Ali Baba doing chaalis chores! Both outing and the play

read about it here

were excellent and worth the effort.

Let me close with my favourite image from the flight, of these ice crystals on my window:

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and the ice-mist on the wing as we landed at Paris:

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KP’s first flight

July 5, 2013

I think I caught both his expression and his thought, on his first-ever flight…

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US of A, once again….

May 3, 2012

Life-changing….that’s the right way to describe events in my life, lately, and part of the process is a journey to the USA, where I will stay for 2.5 months. I don’t want to talk about all of it now, but I’d certainl like to share one of my favourite parts of the awful, tiring trans-Atlantic travel…the View Out of the Window.

I managed, somehow, to get good window seats on each leg of my journey….Bangalore to Paris, Paris to Atlanta, and Atlanta to St.Louis. So here are some of the sights I saw:

Since I was already tired out, and the journey from Bangalore began in the middle of the night, I didn’t get any shots for quite a long time, but as we approached Paris, I got these…

Crossing the Alps:

alps 010512

My video monitor showed our plane approaching Gay Paree:

map 010512

My favourite, of course, is this patchwork quilt of fields near Paris, with windmills all over:

paris wndmil 010512

When we left Paris, we crossed the chalk cliffs of Dover, mottled by the clouds and their shadows:

dover 010512

I enjoyed the demonstration of what the temperature was like, outside, with these ice fractals forming on the window:

ice crystls 010512

We went around downtown Atlanta:

atlanta 010512

If you’d like to see a few more, just

click here

for my Facebook album.

Sorry, folks, I’ve not been to LJ at all (and I’ve been getting so much of spam comments that I don’t feel like it, either)…but I’ll keep myself au courant from now…my life is about to change very much, and I’m going to need a lot of courage for this.

Meanwhile, off, in a little more time, for my morning walk in Forest Park…it’s already getting warmer and humid-er than I like….

How to go broke travelling from Kochi to Bangalore

September 12, 2011

I’d booked a flight on Cleartrip dot com, and they’ve been reminding me to book my “free” ticket. The reason for those inverted commas was that they said only the base fare was free, and the taxes (which usually amount to 3 or 4 times the base fare) was to be paid by me.

But still, I was not prepared for the fares I got when I entered Cochin as the start airport and Bangalore as the destination airport. And the flights were all Bangalore to Cochin, not the other way, as I’d asked for!

The distance between Bangalore and Kochi is, Aunty Google informs me, is 533 km or 331 miles.

Rs. 1,52,909
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → BKK → KIX → KCZ (2)
01:35
09:10 (21 Dec)
28h 5m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → BKK → BLR (2)
19:15
00:45 (20 Dec)
33h
Rs. 2,25,770
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → SIN → HND → KCZ (2)
23:10
08:55 (22 Dec)
30h 15m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 2,96,971
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
16:30
16:15 (21 Dec)
20h 15m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 2,96,971
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
16:30
17:30 (21 Dec)
21h 30m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 2,96,971
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
15:00
16:15 (21 Dec)
21h 45m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 2,96,971
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
16:30
18:40 (21 Dec)
22h 40m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 2,96,971
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
15:00
17:30 (21 Dec)
23h
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 2,96,971
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
16:30
20:00 (21 Dec)
24h
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 2,96,971
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
15:00
18:40 (21 Dec)
24h 10m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 2,96,971
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
15:00
20:00 (21 Dec)
25h 30m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 3,04,944
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
16:30
16:15 (21 Dec)
20h 15m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 3,04,944
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
16:30
17:30 (21 Dec)
21h 30m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 3,04,944
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
15:00
16:15 (21 Dec)
21h 45m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 3,04,944
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
16:30
18:40 (21 Dec)
22h 40m
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 3,04,944
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
15:00
17:30 (21 Dec)
23h
Multiple carriers
KCZ → HND → SIN → BLR (2)
19:15
15:00 (19 Dec)
23h 15m
Rs. 3,04,944
includes all charges
fare breakup

+ details
BLR → DEL → HKG → KIX → KCZ (3)
16:30
20:00 (21 Dec)
24h

Wow, 1.5 lakhs+ to 3 lakhs+ …I can buy an aircraft at this rate!

I suspect “HKG” is Hong Kong. What a great way to travel from Kochi to Bangalore! I don’t know what KIX is, but I certainly got my KIX out of this booking….

Clouds and colours

July 29, 2011

As we flew from Chennai to Bangalore, we almost immediately hit the rain-bearing monsoon clouds….first they were fluffy cotton wool fleecy:

white cld 260711

Then they started turning dark, with ice at their tips:

chni blr 260711 cloud

Soon the frozen water made prismatic effects as the sun hit it:

rnbw effect 260711

There are some disadvantages to a window seat, particularly when you have to cross two people to get to the toilet…but equally, there are some major pluses to be in it, and watch the wonders of Nature and our Earth outside!

Flight from Orlando to St.Louis, 300611

July 1, 2011

I was going to finish unpacking, the cooking and the laundry, and post about some of our journey home…but I have other things to look forward to, and that includes

the Air Show

tomorrow,

and we are also going to see the 4th of July

fireworks

It’s going to be another packed day…and I mean “packed”, for we will be packing lunch to take for the airshow, too 🙂

Meanwhile, AM has a wonderful view of the aerobatics being practiced, from her office window…here’s a sample:

ar shw prctc 010711 am

But if you’d like my fun video of our airport train taking off from one terminal at Orlando Airport (warning….NOTHING unusual, I just took it for fun!)…here you go:

Since some of the family were leaving by earlier flights, we got to spend a lot of time at the airport; and if you want to see my pics of the landmarks of St.Louis from the air (I didn’t get a window seat from Orlando to Louisville, but got a nice one from Louisville to St.Louis, and the plane made a lovely circle of the entire downtown area (including the Arch) and then the Casino over the river, and then I could see the whole of Forest Park, and was able to spot all the landmarks in it…well,

click here

for the link on Facebook.

Flying is fun if you are interested in the thousands of random people that you see….but nothing will make me like the security checks.

Long journey halfway across the world

April 21, 2009

One of the things I love doing on a plane ride is to have the map of the route in front of me…this time, as usual, it was lovely to see exotic names slipping past, and bringining up memories of our visits to those places…..Ispahan, Shiraz, Teheran, and so on….the Alps made a beautiful backdrop to our right….I remember freezing on the Jungfrau, visiting Mt Titlis, Hotel St Gotthard….I remember the tiny prinipality of Leichstenstein, and visiting Vaduz….our world travelling has come down sharply in the past years, because of the imperative to visit the USA every year (there’s only so much time, and money, that one can spare for Transatlantic travel!)…but the memories rushed back as I flew high above the countries that I had once seen and enjoyed visiting.

On the second leg of the journey, Paris to Atlanta, Murphy’s Law mandated seat in front of us that leaned back far more than they were supposed to, so that we were sort of sandwiched….and the window seat felt like a trap! Alas, the view was just a sheet of white…during Spring, Europe is covered with snow clouds…

The food…was plastic as usual, but eatable, I guess..the coffee has actually improved a lot.

We had timed our flights beautifully, AND each flight was on time, so we made it to St L with the minimum of waiting in both CDG Paris as well as Atlanta.

We came to St Louis, our luggage arrived one hour later, and DnA at the same time as they had mistaken the time of our arrival…but we fully utilized the $14 food voucher that we got for waiting, and came home, where, as soon as I had unpacked, (there’s LOADS of stuff to be posted/sent to others..this time, there’s been a far bigger quota of can-you-take-this requests than usual) I went off and had a …I canNOT believe….15-hour sleep! I didn’t inform anyone back home of our arrival, my brain just shut off…

Feeling better now, it’s a lovely 17 deg right now, outseide, so I am off for a long walk (no MLC along with me, alas, alas!) but…my eyes and ears will be open.

A has gone to work, which she will as long as she can; D is working from home, he is tapping away behind me…KM Is on the massage chair, off in dreamland….it’s peaceful, and it’s home away from home.

Chandu’s wish for our journey….

April 17, 2009

Chandu wrote:

“Have a happy n nappy time @ uncle “ballack oblamach plach ” starting with a
safe and smooth, “no-missing-flights”, “no-boring-co-passengers”,
“no-horrible-food” flight journey initiated by a”polite-n-punctual” cab
driver who drops you off at the International Airport at the end of a day
that would start with a great birding trip @ valley school… uff one sec ,
need a breath.. ok … relish the last summer birding trip of 2009 in India,
do look for any raptors from the flight, there are records of vultures
spotted by pilots!!
Wishing you nothing but the best!”

You DID make me Laugh Out Loud, Chandu! Thank you.

Looking for vultures in the sky while strapped into the economy class seats (or perhaps looking out of the toilet window)…. and hoping that they are not going into the engine…surely the “height” of birding!! 🙂

Actually, as soon as we reach St Louis, we ARE going to be bird-watching….it’s the stork we will be looking out for!

I somehow have been thinkin that it will be summer in St Louis, and just now, weather dot com told me that the day temperature is….12 deg Celsius! Out are going the cottons, and the heavier tops are going in…..!

non stop from Dubai to JFK

December 12, 2006

Several bloopers on this post…it WAS an Airbus but NOT a777 which would make it a Boeing.

It WAS Jane Russell, NOT Jane Seymour.

thanks for pointing out all the mistakes guys.

The Airbus 777 was non-stop from Dubai to JFK…and that is, indeed, a boon for people like me, though obviously not for many others. For me, it means that I don’t have to worry about my checkin baggage, Also, the 777 had 2-4-2 configuration so that KM and I could be by ourselves.

I have posted elsewhere that I am a window-and-landmark fiend; I ensured that I got a window again (“Not over the wing or just behind the wing, please???!!!” and that casual phrase, “watching the world go by”, literally came true…we lifted off from Dubai (the previous flight, I had seen Bangalore, and seen Muscat off to my left, and seen the landmark buildings of Dubai all lit up as we landed) and every now and then I would switch off the movie to look out of the window…the dunes of the Arabian desert soon gave way to some snow-capped mountains, and then more and more as we crossed the Andes (note: idahoswede caught this bloop…I meant the Alps, not the Andes!) …I mused on Hannibal’s journey as I sat in comfort high about the freezing peaks!

Soon we left Europe behind and moved on into Greenland (the Emirates map, unlike Delta and some other airlines’, doesn’t give a political map with countries and cities marked, it is only an unmarked atlas and one has to guess at where the aircraft is passing)…soon the occastional snow-peaks gave way to whole oceans of blinding white as the polar reagions hove into view….amazingly, it went from morning to evening to morning again as we crossed…it was a most incredible experience. Geography and the world atlas came alinve in such a dramatic fashion for me…

Another aspect of the flight is the amazing variety of info, communication (email was possible, though rather too expensive) and entertainment…so the ice below was reflected in the ICE on screen! We had a choice of nearly 500 movies, tv series, audio etc…I thought back to the days when, even in business class, there was only ONE movie and everyone had to watch it!

A 14or 15 hour flight (it got extended as some passenger wanted to cancel at the last minute and locating his/her luggage took an hour!!) is a great opportunity to see a lot of movies…so I watched something I had wanted to for a long time, the Marilyn Monroe classic, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. Imagine MM accepting equal billing with Jane Seymour, something that would NOT happen later…and what a lovely song it is, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” (then the louses/go back to their spouses/ diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”)

Then I watched “Findin Nemo” (I am a great Disney fan) and revisited two great favourites, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. Surely, Disney was one of the very first to use animals extensively in his story telling…..I remember watching, as a young girl, the movie, “The Living Desert” and not realizing that I was watching my first, and probably most wonderful, wildlife documentary. I wish they would revive it!

Disney animation…in those days, to produce such special effects is pretty mind-boggling, I must say!

I also watched some episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond”, laughing heartily at how similar Indian and Italian families are…and also spent a lot of time walking up and down the aisle, mainly fetchin and carrying food as the service on Emirates was nothing much to write home about, with surly staff (to be fair to them, the flight was full), and getting the blood going in my legs every now and then. I was able to comfort one of the yowling babies that are found on every flight…for a while, at least…

I also did watch how the galley crew worked and how things were served. I would think that on such full flights, they should have a few more staff. No wonder they are surly….they are really overworked, I think.

Oh, well, the sun is coming out now, so I think I will take another walk (the morning one was rather dreary and rainy, this one will be to the Zoo I think!) so all of you have a good, productive week….