Thursday, November 27, 2008

And.... They're Off!

The good news is that the house is the cleanest it has been since we moved in. The bad news is that we're not there to enjoy it!

The picture of the bags is everything that we're taking for 7 months. 12 pieces of luggage affectionately referred to as the "Dirty Dozen". The other photo was taken moments before our good friend Julie showed up to take us into Vancouver. But first... more injections! We literally had to chase poor Isaac around the doctor's office, as he ran out the door crying. Foolishly, he backed into a corner, sobbing uncontrollably. I picked him up, and held both his hands whilst the doctor quickly punctured him and topped him up with the last of the Hep B vaccine. Poor bugger.

While waiting in the ferry lineup, we had our 15 seconds of fame as Julie Andres (different Julie. There's a bylaw on Bowen that states that every third female must be named Julie) , the editor of the local paper, snapped a couple of photos for the venerable Undercurrent. It was a pretty strange feeling to sail off on the Queen of Capilano, not expecting to return until July.

The weird feeling we experienced leaving was nothing like the one we got when we turned on the news in our hotel room in Vancouver. Massive terror attack in Mumbai, as 100 hundred people or more are killed and hundreds more injured. The usual Indian election time bullshit that goes on, only this time the numbers of dead and injured were a little higher than usual. This morning, on the way to the airport, the cab driver laid out a very impressive conspiracy theory as to who was ulitmately responsible. His claim was that political groups regularly hire mercenaries to perform violent acts in order to encourage ill will between Hindus (80% of the population) and Muslims, all for political gain. His claims were bolstered by the fact that his uncle was the mayor of Delhi, and that he had shaken the hand of Indira Gandhi not once, but twice. Come to think of it, he also seemed to have a pretty good idea who killed her too. It seems that the Sikhs were once again the scapegoats in the whole affair. I nodded, and dared not disagree. Not at 5:30 AM and without the benefit of coffee.

We finally found the right check-in line, and managed to get the Dirty Dozen checked in and carried on. At last, we're off! Well... no. "Uuuuuuuuuhhhh this is your captain speaking. Uuuuuuuhhhhh... it seems like there is too much fog in San Francisco to land, so uuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhh.... we're just going to park here off to the side for a bit until uuuuuuuuuhhhhh.... we get clearance to take off." And that we did. For about an hour and ten minutes. The flight was uneventful, as any good flight should be. Nary a pretzel to be had though, as bad sandwiches and overpriced cashews were only available for sale. So we get into position to land and then we hear "Uuuuuuuuuuuhhhhh this is your captain speaking. Things are a little backed up down there because of the fog, so uuuuuuuuuhhhhh... we'll just be doing some figure 8s up here until uuuuuuuhhhh.. some of the congestion clears out". That was good for at least another half hour.

Finally we landed, and all of our gear appeared to survive the trip, which next to my kids, was my biggest worry. While we were waiting for the luggage, the PA system kept blaring "Homeland Security Orange Alert!!!". I wondered to myself if that was anything like "Double Secret Probation" in National Lampoon's "Animal House". Made about as much sense. A cab ride into town, we were checked into the hotel, a delightful little remodelled crack den known as the Redwood Inn.

Right now everyone but me is napping and trying to make sense of the fact that we're a long way from home, and recent events promise that it's going to get a wee bit stranger before we're done. Our biggest problem right is to figure out what to do about dinner!

1 comment:

jcree said...

Ok, the......ahhhh........whole Mumbai thing is making me a bit nervous for you. But, I'm sure you'll keep your self very well informed over the next few days.

...signed one of the bowen's Julies