We reached India on Sunday morning, after a surprisingly smooth albeit tiring flight. As amazing as it is to travel 9000 miles, crossing four continents and two oceans, over a span of just 16 hours, it is still quite a stressful journey for all involved -
- the long immigration lines. No matter which country I am flying to (India or the US), I am always in the longer line - there are more people of my same status traveling than there are of any other.
- the long wait at the gate. What happened to all those "pre-boarding" invitations extended to families with little kids? We didn't see that happening to us.
- the long wait at the baggage terminals. I am not kidding when I tell you that our bags were among the last to arrive. A 1000 bags may have come through prior. We didn't get to leave the terminal until after at least an hour of waiting, if not longer.
- the recent terrorist events had me very anxious through the entire trip. Turbulence already made me jumpy, I really didn't need one more reason to squirm in my seat.
- the jet lag. Did you know that babies get jet lagged too? Except they don't really try to fix it (of course, they don't know that they should fix it.) Shreya has been sleeping all day and waking up to play at nights. Yup, we are back to those days again. The husband and I still haven't had a decent spell of sleep, much less a full night's.
But on the plus side,
- Shreya did well during the flight! That was more than I could ask for. She slept well during the flight and I even got a few winks of sleep.
- I love flying (minus the turbulence really). It's one of the most amazing modern conveniences ever. I was especially thinking of and thanking the Wright brothers during this trip. If we didn't have planes yet, I wouldn't be able to see my family often. (Of course, I may not even have left them.)
- I hadn't realized how much I was looking forward to coming to India until I got here. Since it's been four years since my last trip, I did have a mild case of culture shock but that's gone now and I'm already wishing this trip was longer. I am of course missing my home, my dog (who we have boarded), and my daily routine. But this is a welcome break.
- Dining on the food that I grew up with. The husband had been to India twice over the past year and after each trip, he regaled me with stories of all the food he came across. We are huge food lovers and something I am hoping to do during this trip is enjoy all that food, while still watching my waistline and making sure the baby doesn't suffer for her mom's eating habits.
We have plenty of plans over the next few days - a wedding to attend, a meet-and-greet party we are hosting for friends and family to meet the baby, and a houseboat stay. I'm also planning to hit a nearby bookstore to get a few books by Indian authors (and some that I know I won't get in the US). So, a lot to look forward to. I will be blogging and commenting while I can, but I won't hold my breath.