Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, May 5, 2023.
Thank you very much @joylokhi Madam. I sincerely appreciate your wishes.
Thank you @swarnamary for your kind wishes. I am glad the trip was productive and all the objectives of the trip were accomplished.
I am sure you are leaving Mother India Chennai with a heavy heart but a mind filled to brim with satisfaction almost on all fronts.
Happy flight & Bon Voyage to Florida.
Best wishes to mrs Viswa.
hope everyone is home safe,sound viswa sir.... how was your return trip in the airport???
June 6th & 7th
This Chennai diaries would not conclude without recording the last day of my trip to Chennai and the journey back to the US. Interestingly, the courier we sent on 5th reached the US on 7th before we arrived in the US by 10 p.m. on 7th. This International Courier (Garuda) is excellent in packing and sending the material back to the US in record time. We sent all sorts of pickles, Rasam powder, Appalam, Vadam, and many other products from Mylapore Kitchen, Ambika, Ganapathy Stores, etc. besides Bhatt's Kitchen vessels. It all totaled up to 40 kgs and may fall well within the limits of 192 kgs (3 passengers X 32kgs per bag allowed for business class passengers). But I prefer avoiding the nuisance of answering the customs officer's hundred questions especially when I was traveling with a Wheel chair passenger. The amount of effort I had to put in while traveling to make my MIL's journey comfortable is a lot. The cost of sending all that material was Rs.30,000/- but it is worth it rather than what I had to go through if I were to miss a flight because the customs officer decides to go through each one of my bags (there were 4 of them for 3 of us).
We left home around 9 p.m. on 6th June for the flight departing at 1:20 a.m. on 7th morning. We reached the airport by 9:45 p.m. but we had to wait until 10:20 p.m. in the car to get a wheel chair out as most of the wheel chairs were under use for the flights leaving earlier. There were 48 wheel chairs but all of them were under use at that time. As I had already checked in earlier through my phone, the check in at the counter was easier for the checkin luggage of 4. Luckily, the Air France staff issued all of the boarding passes including Chennai-Paris, Paris-Detroit, and Detroit-Orlando. We were landing in Orlando as I could not get a direct flight to Tampa from Detroit when I booked the ticket. We arranged a cab to go to Orlando when we left for India and I expected the same Green Cab to pick us up on our return journey.
We relaxed an hour in the lounge after immigration and customs. The Air France left at 2:10 p.m. approximately instead of 1:20 a.m. as there were too many wheel-chair passengers to be boarded. Fortunately, the flight was comfortable and it reached only 20 minutes late at Paris (8:45 a.m. instead of 8:25 a.m.). Our next flight to Detroit was 10:40 a.m. and I was really worried as Paris has a peculiar way of handling wheel chair passengers. They speak in French and we never understand what they were talking. There were 48 of them to manage and until 9:45 p.m. we were still in the gate where we landed waiting to be transported to the next flight. However, to our surprise, the transporters gave a lot of comfort that they would ensure we board the plane to Detroit (it is Delta). They took our boarding passes and assigned one person for each family. We went through the security as we came from other than Schengen countries. Then they transported us through bus to the next gate. When we reached the next gate it was already 10:30 a.m. but Delta flight was patient in boarding all the passengers until the very end before departure. Finally, the plane left around 10:45 a.m. The Delta flight including staff and food were excellent. They kept feeding us a lot. The flight reached Detroit 10 minutes earlier. Again we waited for a long time before the wheelchair came in. But as the US system is different, they assigned a person to take us to the next flight. We went to immigration and customs and the officer only asked me how many dollars I was carrying and what was the purpose of my visit to India. He let us go quickly and we cleared the baggage and rechecked them quickly and got an hour and 30 minutes earlier to our gate.
The flight to Orlando left on time and reached 10 minutes earlier at Orlando. Unfortunately, the driver who confirmed via text to be there didn't show up. After a lot of calls, I found out she was still in Tampa and completely forgot about us. I wonder how their reservation system works. Then I ended up booking a meter taxi from Orlando and this lady was nice but naive and was scared how she would get back to Orlando late at night. It costs $350 as opposed to $175 fixed rate Green Cab normally charge. What to do? I called Green Cab company and gave mouthful on my way and another Cab driver (her name is Lisa) was nice and apologized for the inconvenience. They normally make a reservation in their system so that if one is not available, another can show up. The driver who took us to Orlando when we left didn't do the reservation as she wanted to handle the return herself. Lisa promised to give me a discount in my next trip. We reached home by 10 p.m. as I had to give the cab driver direction throughout. I tipped her additional amount for safely reaching us back home and gave her direction how to get back to Orlando. I asked her to text me after reaching home as I was worried about her reaching Orlando safely. She did text me and unfortunately she reached Orlando back by 2 p.m. as the GPS she decided to use showed all backroads instead of I-4.
We are severly jetlaged and recovering today. I caught up on the bills, emails and unpacking today and tomorrow I can work on the rest. Good Bye to my Chennai Diaries.
Welcome back Viswa sir. What a befitting end to your Chennai dairies that many of us here have been following and relishing every day for the past month. Hope you, your wife and your MIL recover from your jetlag soon. Take care
Yes. We are on the path to recovery from jetlag. Traveling with a new taxi from Orlando to Tampa when the regular person didn't show up was upsetting and tedious than the entire jet travel. Luckily all was well.
enjoyed reading chennai diaries and been with you all thru your journey good nice trip... glad you all made home safe....enjoy your days...
out of curiosity. is anyone wearing mask in the airport i know there is no covid level anywhere but me and my family trying to use mask all thru our journey because of my daughter..
No. No one was wearing mask throughout our journey except a few airline staff may be because they have a health condition that requires them to protect themselves. Interestingly, the US wants us to give our email for contact tracing and I never knew that they are equipped to do contact tracing.
we will be ready to give our email ,good to know information, Thank you viswa sir...