Thursday, November 15, 2007

London-y Snickets- A Series of Embarrassing Events

Absence from the blogsphere for a long time (like anyone cared!) is blamed on my inability to manage time efficiently. A lot has happened ever since I saw “The Namesake” (no I did not paint my full name as a graffiti on the walls of Mumbai- the innumerable C-grade movie posters didn’t spare any brick of the wall). I left my traineeship and got an Annie McBeal certificate. Since the boss was left speechless seeing my performance, he asked my goodself to prepare the certificate. I shopped for 20 days and packed everything into 3 bags and left the country to fufill my teenage dream- to meet Prince William! (he is balding and re-engaged but he still is in the second in line to the throne). On a serious note, I thought a li’l bit of London education may save my future employers.

The Journey

All my bags are packed, I ready to go
I am standing here outside the check-in counter
I hate to unpack all the excess baggage
Coz I am leaving on a jet (airways) plane

1) 20 days of shopping for an entire academic year. Linen, towels, cutlery, stationery, spices, pots, pans and finally some clothes..all packed into 3 bags.
Permitted weight = 28 + 23.
Packed weight = 35 + 33.
Finally checked-in weight = 30+ 25
Value of left behind Excess baggage= Priceless
Stares from the nearby people straight into my suitcase = Embarrassing
Lesson learnt- always weigh your luggage before a trip

2) When Mumbai was hot and happening at 35 C, my goodself was the only person in the airport with a sweater and a padded jacket (which made goodself look like an eskimo) and drawing unwanted stares from the NRIs. (you wore the same out-of-season clothes the first time u left the country!!!!)
Lesson learnt- ignore them.

3) Seated comfortably in the flight, goodself thot- lets watch some in-flight entertainment. So all buttons on the remote is pressed, touch screen is touched again and again till fingerprints ruined the screen, passengers seated nearby look and think ‘another FOB student’ and laughs and goodself thinks-‘Oh another IT onsite FOB’. In 15 minutes all misconceptions cleared- IT onsite dude is not an FOB, but a frequent flier (overheard conversation with third passenger) and the touch screen works once the inflight announcements take place and hence he laughed.
Lesson learnt- don’t turn on the entertainment as soon as u take ur seat. Be patient and wait for the flight to take off.

4) Dinner is served and it is some chicken achari roll (sounds good tasted ridiculous). The roll came in a cover double its size and goodself tries to put her hand all the way through, but the role doesn’t come out. IT-frequent flier-dude again laughs and then jus rolls down the cover half way till the actual achari roll is reached.
Lesson learnt- when u know not what to do, jus watch what others are doing (mebbe u too could get a chance to laugh). Your greed can wait!

5) The flight lands after circling London city 6-7 times as its too foggy for the ATC to give clearance and then thud! The flight touched the ground...(yay! I am in Lundun). All the passengers rush to the door and goodself thinks ‘dude this is Mumbai local train behaviour’ and casually wears the jacket, straps the laptop and pulls of the ‘overweight’ inflight bag (managing to look like an FOB all the more). People rushing all the way, running down the escalators. Soon the suspense ends at the immigration counter (or ‘UK BORDER’ as it is written in bold letters). At 6 am the rush at the counter resembled the crowd outside ‘Jalsa’ for Bacchan Jr’s wedding and it will take an hour to ‘cross’ the UK border.
Lesson learnt- the ‘Mumbai local train’ rule is universally applied at every international airport.

6) Lucky I was to meet a student (SM) also heading to my college and she suggests that we take the tube to our hall. Goodself had planned on taking the ‘sexy taxi’ (the famous black cab). Once across the trolley limit, the real adventure begins- getting our heavy luggage (each person pushing-tugging [I refrain from using the word ‘carrying’ which we were incapable of doing due to the weight] upto 70 kgs) to the tube. Goodself gets frustrated and comes up with the bright idea- THROW THE LUGGAGE down the escalator. So SM pushes the bag from the top, the bag tumbles and reaches goodself upside down, in the process also providing some comic relief to the passers-by.
Lesson learnt- Always travel light. (u get over the rupee-pound conversion soon)

7) So goodself reaches Holborn, again tugs at her luggage and manages to look helpless. An Indian student visiting London takes pity and helps. Together we pull down the luggage on the stairs and the wheels go manage to irritate everyone present.
Lesson learnt- Never do this when ur folks who funded the new luggage is around u..i was picturising the look on my folks face- the thot scared me.

8) Goodself stands on Kingsway hoping a ‘sexy taxi’ comes by…waits..waits..waits..(thinks-I SHUD have taken the cab at the airport)..waits..waits…(WTF!!!)…waits…waits..soon a cab finally comes..tells the cab driver ‘please take me to Drroorry lane’..he says ‘what’..goodself repeats.. ‘drrooorrry lane its jus the parallel street’..he says.. ‘oh druhry lane..i didn’t understand’!!
Lesson learnt- Even if English is the only language u can speak, don’t think the world will understand u. I thought my English was good, (I pronounce ‘r’ like the Americans do, not ‘arr’) but guess I was wrong.

9) Seats herself inside..nice I am in the sexy taxi..looks straight ahead to find the meter and sees the fare running at pace faster than the second needle in a clock. Reaches her destination and pays 6 pounds for a 3 minute ride. (Heathrow to Holborn- 45 minute ride-4 pounds!!)
Lesson learnt- the taxi is not that sexy afterall.

10) Goodself is now at her ‘home’ for the next 9 months and she didn’t know how to pronounce the name of the building. But this time smart enough, she did not take the name of the building, but quietly showed the offer letter and carefully overheard the receptionist talking over the fone and learnt pronunciation.

Conclusion- it might seem that I learnt all my lessons in 12 hours. But this is not the end of the story. More events happened but if I sit to write all of that I will not be prepared for tomorrow’s class. (what I actually meant to say is that it wud jus bore u to the core)


Hemant said...

Vow!! Enjoyed it to the hilt! lemme get back to work...
will come again to leave more comments :)

Rainman said...

Lesson 1: Never drink on a Lufthansa flight! The choice of alcohol sucks and the quality is usually very bad!

Lesson 2: The leg room on Lufthansa economy class is too little, even for Gulliver's pygmy friends!

Lesson 3: Never accidentally drop your credit card into some box at Frankfurt International Airport, thinking that the airport staff will have keys to open the box. They're as clueless as you in matters such as this!

Solution: Avoid Lufthansa like the plague! The price of a ticket is inversely proportional to service, only in this case! Fly BA! ;-)

d_grail said... rolling on floor laughing..if i ca get up..i will write humorous/witty/smart alecky comment

mathew said...

hahahaha..very well understand ur predicament..coz i was goin through the same last year..atleast you had the comfort of goin to a english speakin country..

and lucky that you dint do like a friend of mine who didnt take food served in flight coz he thought u had to pay up!! ;-P

humourous post!!

stuti said...

:) :) :) :) :)

am just speechless :D !!

plz write more often.... and stop writing
" As if someone cared" ( for u not posting ) in brackets ..... :D :D

looking forward to more of em :)

anN-series said...

@ hemant
thanx, but nothing beats ur pblog pal.

The only right decision was to fly with Jet. I dont like the name Lufthansa either.

laugh woman laugh :~P

thanx, but with englsh language also had to face their stiff upper lip.

i will defnly long as i am not flunking in my course.

Macadamia The Nut said...

gosh! are you by any chance my long lost twin. :D you think the way I do.

P.S. in my case my first and last memory after boarding the 'flying machine' was the matchbox they call The Loo. When I came to, I had already reached my destination. Lol!

Aiswarya said...

Oh how well written Ann, I am a big fan of humor and I can clearly see the potential in this post. Everything you have stated about London is absolutely right. That’s the place for you!

Bullshee said...


One question though -what's FOB?

Aiswarya said...

Please bulsh, let me answer that for you. FOB is Freshie off the Boat!