The Walking Dead

The big travel day is over. After three legs and over 8,000 miles we arrived in Omaha on Friday morning. It was a marathon day. We left for the airport in Visag at 7:30 am Thursday morning, and after stops in New Delhi (a long layover) and Newark we landed in Omaha at 10:15 am on Friday morning — that’s 36.5 hours from start to finish. Both Tej and I had Friday night events to attend as well! What day is it? Where am I?

Just a few observations about the New Delhi to Newark flight. In the 14 hours that it takes from wheels up to wheels down, there is much to observe, and some of those observations are worth sharing. The flight was completely full, no empty seats and no aisle and other space left behind when it comes to spreading out personal items. Some passengers appeared to be prepared for a 14 day trip by rail and ship. They brought everything short of a cook stove and ice chest.

At its quietest, the plane was alive with movement, including fitful sleep attempts, pacing, trips to the lav, and signals to the airline staff for some kind of assistance. Most entertaining are the sleep aid devices brought on board. Some get cold, and therefore need hats, gloves and special blankets to ward off the chill (it was particularly cold on the plane). I saw very stylish blankies, stocking caps, sweaters and coats. The dude across the aisle from me had a fine Elmer Fudd hat, ear pieces turned down. He looked ready to shovel snow in Omaha or sleep on UA flight 83. My sister would have admired this headgear. There was also your higher than average number of turbans in the coolest colors and of tightest weave. I do not know how one sleeps in a turban and wakes up looking just as dapper as the night before. And, I do not know how some folks arise after 14 hours and look wrinkle free, fresh and ready to go. I am not one of those.

At one point during the flight I looked at the travel progress monitor and observed that it was – 88 degrees F outside the plane and we were going 534 MPH. So, what is the windchill at that speed and temperature? I asked my wife Janet to help me out. Answer, – 224 degrees F, way too cold to think about jumping, no matter how crazy one feels during a 14-hour flight. Lastly, after 14 hours of flight and at 4:30 am, with the exceptions noted above, those of us getting off the flight in Newark looked like the cast of The Walking Dead, the dead ones.

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