Wednesday, November 2, 2011

flying to Mumbai

I awoke to the thump of a juice box landing on my crotch, though it was really the gyroscope of nauseating pain surging into my abdomen that got me up.

The stewardess either had no idea of the pain men are susceptible to in that area, or she really didn't care. Perhaps both.

"Welcome to India..." I thought.

I'd slept through much of the flight over the sub-continent, once the same stewardess had stopped playing musical chairs with us, changing me with the old guy seated by the emergency exit, then demanding another older gentleman switch his front row seat, which he'd specifically requested, with the woman who had a new born baby, who she then scolded for bringing such a small child an a plan.

The bright morning light made it difficult to see below, but there wasn't much more than a spread of cloud cover to look at. I drank my box of orange juice and fell back asleep.

The plane came down over a shanty town hugging the boundary of the runway. The little houses looked as if the plane would blow them all away in its wake, but they stood. As we rolled down the runway, and stopped at the terminal gate, I couldn't take my eyes off the plane across the runway from us. Parked on the edge of the shanty town, engines running, the force and screech of the exhaust blew straight through the settlement, flapping the clothes hanging on lines wildly with its fume. It boggled me that people would live there.

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