India, Day 1 / by vanessa

I am officially in India. Hyderabad to be exact. After 16 hrs to Dubai, then another 3 and a half to India, then 1.5 hrs to get our luggage, and then 30 minutes to get to the hotel (super dope), we are here. It's now 7 in the morning, and of course I'm wide awake. I've heard that India is a slum but we are staying in a ridiculously posh pad. It's kinda zen. The kind of place where I feel like I should be getting spa treatments and having Indian boys feed me grapes or like, chickpeas, all day.

In case you didn't know, I'm here for work. Last year the small consulting firm I worked for was acquired by a HUGE Indian consulting firm. Dilbert anyone? Anyway, they've been kind enough to foot the bill for my world travels so I can't be too much of a dick. Dre is here too. (More about that in a second.) Our schedule requires us to work this whole week (which is gonna be a mug since I also have my regular job that I will be tending to) and then next week I'll be on holiday. Hav will be meeting us and we're going throughout Kerala and then travelling to the Andaman islands. (Google it.) I was the only person to not get my shots. I like to live on the edge. Actually, I guess I just don't believe it. There are 1 billion people here. You'd think that if malaria and hepatitis were legitimate scares, Bono would be over here holding concerts. So I'm not worried.

I figure I'll be blogging throughout my trip, in case anyone is still reading. (Alo, I know it's been a while, but well, stuff has been going on.) I'll start with the plane experience.

Basically, my new "friend" J picked Dre and me up and rushed us to the airport, where I spent the entirety of our drive on two conference calls. Then we boarded the plane and proceeded to drink our way through the 16-hr flight to Dubai. Somewhere in there we also took a Xanax. Dre was all worried about mixing prescription drugs and alcohol but since I spent my Oregon vacation last year w/ Jos and Leslie doing just that, I feel like I'm practically an expert in this matter. We were fine. The two of us snagged two flight attendant seats in the back of the plane and read US Weekly together. Then we played iPhone air hockey and Connect Four. Things were going swimmingly until Brandon-the-flight-attendant told us we needed to move.

Brandon: Ladies, we need these seats in case of emergency.
Me: But Brandon, there's no emergency.
Brandon: Yes, but we need them if there is. They're our seats.
Me: Okay, I get that. But how about if we move in the event of an emergency. That way we both win.
Brandon: I'm not gonna argue with you.

I HATE when that's how someone ends a conversation. Oh really, Brandon? You're not going to argue with me? Why? Because I outsmarted you? In your face, Brandon.

And then we went back to our respective seats, where I had to kick the sleeping grandma who had moved from her middle seat into my window spot from her perch. In your face too, grandma.

We finally landed in Dubai, which is like the Arab version of Vegas. I like how they have prayer rooms just after you drop a grand on Armani. I was making my way to a prayer room when I ran into Christine. She flew in from NYC, and was meeting us on the leg from Dubai to Hyderabad. We had work stuff to talk about which was not as fun as going to chill in a prayer room, but it was weighing on me so I made up my mind to visit my sacred airport lounge on my return flight.

On the last leg, two significant things happened: 1) I had the BEST airplane meal of my life mostly because I love curry, and 2) I realized that they should have designated bathrooms on planes. One for going #1, and the other for #2. As a patron, I should not have to follow a passenger who has been in the bathroom for 10 minutes. It's just f**ked up. Therefore, they should have separate bathrooms so for the efficient people, we can get in and out, no mucking around. For the remainder, you can take as long as you want (even though, EWWW, who would do THAT on a plane?) and not affect the rest of the people who desperately need to go after three mini bottles of wine and two bottles of water. Problem solved. There's no way to mandate it though, and so I bet the execution would be difficult.

Anyway, I'm here. Might finally be getting tired. More later.