Well I did say what a stupendous start we had to the holiday. I am the proper believer in karma. If something bad happens something good is coming up. The cosmic equation keeps getting balanced in its own weird way. We had that fantastic 30 minute duel for two pieces of bread. What did it mean? Of course a wonderful problem free vacation was hiding just around the corner.
Chiyaa was a bit funny through the morning. Her paati had left to India 2 days back. She was not able to put her finger on the problem. Something was amiss but she could not fathom it. The head count was not 3. It did not make sense to her and she was super annoyed. She was also a bit wary should the count go even further down. Now that would worry any toddler would’nt it? So she kept cribbing, whining, clinging and not being her usual enthusiastic self. To make matters worse, all the altercation between her parents! Boy were things topsy turvy. We literally turned a deaf ear to her persistent crying and got her ready. The moment she was out under the clear blue sky – well she started doing march past! We should just leave the raccoon to frolic in the open.K
The taxi to the airport came on time. The crying and fretting had tired Chiyaa and she slept peacefully during the hour long drive. We reached the airport and seeing K managing a suitcase, a bag, a back pack, a folded up pram and me handling a super squirmy 21 month old a man remarked – it’s like moving houses is’nt it? Of course it is! I think moving houses is in fact easier!
Boarding pass – check. Luggage drop – check. Security check – check. Smoooooooooooth. K happened to cast his eye over the flight listing. Our flight was scheduled for 1445. ETD – 1830. Status - Passengers wait in lounge. The color ran off his face. He showed me the screen. Me being the proper optimist pooh poohed it saying- ‘Oh come on don’t panic. Let’s move on to the departure gates.’ Thankfully at the departure gates there was an airlines customer service desk. I casually asked her (to confirm that my intuition that the information being displayed was incorrect ) ‘When might the flight depart’. Nonchalantly she replied – ‘1800 as of now per current air traffic. But it might be sooner.’ Seeeee… told you so I told you so .. it could be sooner. All this information displayed just to harry innocent passengers.
We got some sandwiches, two steaming cups of coffee and some muffins for the Munchie. We could engage her in eating for some time. After that she lost interest. She started getting bored. She had to be unleased from the pram. She had to be let go to roam the confines of the airport terminal. And we were to keep pace with her. We were running out of energy much sooner than she was. We kept praying for The Great Rescuer. No not the flight – sleep. It did come eventually and the Cutsie drifted off for an hour. We had our toilet breaks, had some more coffee(we were given coupons from the airlines for getting refreshments), and munched on a pizza (yayyy airlines sponsored airport pizza – so much for gourmet food!). As she woke up and started her afternoon round of activities again aka running amok, trying to reach for the garbage bins, putting her finger in the plug points – we got a waft of good news. The flight would start boarding at 1750! Again the optimist in me started doing the jump in joy – 1750 is such a magnificent improvement from 1830! We are in for a treat, we are in for a treat.
We got into the flight by 1815. By 1830 we would be off cruising to our destination. What we got instead was ‘This is your captain speaking. There has been some problem in the air traffic control at Birmingham which has caused the delay. We have you seated so that we can start as soon as situation improves. As of now we anticipate a delay of 45 minutes to an hour’ Arghhhh. Come on cosmic equation. Balance yourself now. Have’nt we had enough already????
The kid was hating being confined. How long could I keep making plane noises, showing her red light, green light and trucks carrying baggage. She wanted more. Even the cell phones did not pacify her. She wanted to play with the front seat tray table. Pop it down. Push it up. Lock it. In adult speak – annoy the passenger sitting right in front of us. There was a nice lady sitting next to us. She found an extra seat and moved away so that we had an her seat. God bless her! We kept Chiyaa in the middle, and since the seat in front of her was empty – she had a field day banging the tray table! I know kids! *rolls eyes*
K and I started betting when the flight might take off. Anything in the vicinity of 1900 seemed too good to be true. Finally at 1910 we got the frightful PA ‘This is your captain speaking. We anticipate a further delay of an hour but we are not sure. In sometime our crew members will come over go through any journey cancellations you may want to make’. K and I looked at each other. We had quite some money to loose in terms of the hotel booking. We hoped that the return flight would be refunded. We started doing the maths. K started getting in touch with the hotel and going through pressing button 1 through 9 to get to someone to talk to. While he was grasping his way through the labyrinth of customer service, the PA crackled again. ‘This is your captain speaking. And we have some good news. We should be ready to take off in 20 minutes.’ Of course there is a Father in Heaven. Halleluiah. 1940 we left terra firma.
The vacation had officially started!