1. I’m astonished at how much the international airport has improved. Specifically, that there is this food courty thing that made me wish I hadn’t eaten dinner. I wish they had more accessible shops though, instead of pretentious Coach etc. though I guess those are ubiquitous in airports now. I suppose extreme boredom could convince some people to spend obscene amounts of money on an ugly monogram bag. I also wish they had a better bookstore. If the domestic airport can have a proper Landmark why does the international have to have sad magazine style shops with unfortunately only two women’s magazines? However, the toilet was pristine and fragrant! (See? It is possible for flushes to actually work) so overall full marks to the airport and JK Tyres.
2. The flight was delayed for a good hour which is the one thing that has not improved. There was this kid that bawled for the entire hour. What has changed though is that people either stared annoyed or ignored the mother who was clearly struggling whereas in the past, at least two auntyjis would have jumped in to help. There was one lady who was in the same row of seats as the bawling kid who was particularly stary/unhelpful. Later, I noticed that she had this rash all over the face and I began to fear she had measles. So I spent a good part of the hour speculating over whether I would rather sit near the measles or the bawling kid. As luck would have it, it was the bawling kid. (Life lesson: do not opt for emergency exit seats as that’s where people with kids are put). I have now accepted being seated next to (screaming) children as my karma. However, (vaguely attractive) guy next to me suddenly pointed out that the flight behind us was pretty much empty so we both got up and got ourselves a row each. This trip I’ve had pretty decent men sitting next to me on the flights (like not super handsome – then again they’re Indian – but decent and with halfway interesting things to say which they inevitably do). I wonder whether it’s some conspiracy by the groundstaff.
3. I looked down at Bombay twinkling beneath me and I realised I was crying. I have gone through phases on my trips to India. The first time I came and went back I was horribly homesick and sobbed my way through the flight back, then got drunk when I reached and had this terrible throwing up episode made even worse because V had stayed back. The next couple of times, although I enjoyed my trips, I found myself increasingly critical of the way things are done in India (the roads, the dirt, the inefficiency). This time, I’ve made my peace. For one, I’m actually seeing an improvement in infrastructure (or is it just me?) but also more importantly, I’ve realised that there’s no point comparing Hong Kong and Bombay. They are two different places despite their similarities and my passion for both of them.