Sunday, March 11, 2007

WORLD CUP DIARY: Delhi-London-Montego Bay

Arrived in Montego Bay yesterday after some fantastic flying. Left New Delhi at 3.30am on the 9th of March. Reached London after about eight hours…around 11.00am London time. Didn’t get a chance to go around town despite having a visa, because we had to catch the connecting flight to Montego Bay.

The important observation from the time spent in London though is that I saw some more evidence of Tony Blair licking George Bush’s ass. Apparently, visitors are asked to even take off their shoes during security checks at American airports. Now, this was apparently not the case in London. But it is now.

[Bought three books, Ajitha, on discount sale. Including an Alexander McCall-Smith.]

Spending a bit of time at the Heathrow was interesting though, because it really is a bit like history, isn’t it? We know names of cities and stuff, but Heathrow has to be the only airport that practically everyone in the world knows of. It’s not a patch on Dubai or Kuala Lumpur as far as glitz goes. But it’s certainly fascinating in terms of colour. Human colour, that is. You actually have over 10 planes landing and taking off every hour, and people from absolutely everywhere in the world stops by at any given time.

Then on to Montego Bay after a four-hour wait at Heathrow. Now, it wasn’t really an eventful flight, but my first real experience of being with Caribbean people was rather memorable. For starters, the man (boy, really) sitting next to me was one of three people being sent back from a London prison after being hauled up for drug possession. I was informed of this at the check-in counter itself. Didn’t mind. And enjoyed the interaction with him afterwards. Was worried he might slip something into my jacket pocket though, but that didn’t happen. [I checked before getting off though].

But more importantly, the experience with the Carib people was wonderful. Everyone had a ‘H’ya doin’, maan’ for me. The air-hostesses – almost all of them plump middle-aged women – had a smile for everything you wanted, and kept the spirits going right through the 11-hour flight, ending with a fun five-minute exercise session that had the entire flight joining in with good humour. Every single person had something fun to say with their dreadlocks flying about. And almost all of them had fantastic amounts of the free booze on the flight.

Reached Montego Bay at night, and checked in at the hotel rather late, so not much was done thereafter.

Now on to the city…and all the work. Will keep posting.