India 2001 Travel Diary, Part 1

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© 2001 Giles Orr

Saturday 12 May 2001, 1520

My Indian Visa, the only visa in my Canadian passport.

Atlanta airport, two hours until the flight. The group met in the atrium, where we were given our passports (with new Indian Visas) and our tickets. Roxanne and I drove to Macon in her car and took the shuttle, then had lunch at the Atlanta Bread Company. People are trickling in to the gate.

I took my first doxycycline (anti-malarial) last night. It reminded me a great deal of the scene in "The Matrix" when Neo takes the red pill. It made me realize I'm really going. My first trip off the North American continent.

2240 (Atlanta time)

We're 3:40 out of Zurich, somewhere over the North Atlantic, east of the tip of Greenland. I'm squished into a tiny chair in one of the middle chairs in a row of four - nowhere near a window. The only thing that's made it tolerable is the company. I share this row with Bettye Walsh, Phil Gibbs, and Jim Engstrom. Catherine Chastain, Julia Matthews, and Ruth Carter are in the row ahead, and Roxanne and Barbara Fertig are behind us. We've had a meal and some very funny conversations. Bettye is trying (unsuccessfully) to sleep. I took Ambien an hour and a half ago - I'm writing, so I guess it didn't work too well.

Each seat has its own flat screen TV embedded in the back of it for the use of the person behind. I can see between the seats Julia is watching "Chocolat," one of several options.

I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep on this or the next flight. 20 hours awake, plus nine I'd already been up when I got on the plane. And that's assuming they let us sleep when we get to the hotel.

I do recall that the after-effects of taking the red pill were pretty punishing.

Relatively good news in that we arrive in Mumbai at 2300 or midnight (depending who you ask about the time difference, and their opinion on daylight savings time) so we should be allowed some sleep then.

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