Thursday, February 19, 2009
"Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable."
"Welcome to Hyderabad," the captain said without a trace of irony.
Seatbelts were unbuckled with a synchronised snap because, deluded and exhausted, we thought we would imminently exit the plane.
"We're just waiting for the word from the authorities inside, and we'll be getting you all into the airport as soon as possible," came the increasingly familiar voice and message.
After he echoed it for the eighteenth time people grew weary of standing in the aisles and returned, grunting, to their seats.
Shortly thereafter the stewards made an appearance with water and little packages of pretzels- an ominous sign that we might hear the message a nineteenth time.
Some indeterminate amount of time later all available snacks had been consumed, the toilets were in disrepair, the stewards' tempers had reached an alarming scale and we all watched in mute horror as a passenger was removed by paramedics.
Her fate is yet unknown to me.
"Any minute now," said the captain; and true to his word, six hours after landing in Hyderabad we were given freedom.
We shuffled into the terminal to gather further instructions which were, as it turned out, to serve us for the next thirty hours.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 1:35 PM