We arrived in India as soon as we arrived at O’Hare. We were among only a handful of pale faced passengers. Everyone else was going home - women wrapped in colorful saris with red dots on their foreheads and men topped with Sikh turbans and lacey beanies. The place reeked of the powerful scent of curry, a smell as appealing to me as the smell of automobile tires. I remembered some of the Indian students I worked with. I would be typing in my office with my back to the door and I could smell them come in. Perhaps when we return at the end of this trip we will reek of curry, too.
The check in area was well staffed and needed to be since many our our fellow passengers did not seem to believe in lines and milled about in confusion. We remember this from visiting other crowded Asian countries. You have to be a bit aggressive and give up that space around your body or you might never get on the plane.
We were feeling sorry that we did not have enough frequent flyer miles to book seats in business class on such a long flight, but it worked out just fine. The plane was half full and we had plenty of room to spread out and doze fitfully. Airport food is not noted for taste and quality and the breakfast, lunch and snack we were served left much to be desired. We were never totally sure what some of it was. The only menu choice was veg or non veg. The meat was a mystery.
When we left Chicago we flew north, more or less over the Arctic. This was a surprise, but has to be the shortest route. We were grateful we could come all this way nonstop.
When we landed after flying 13 hours it was the next day. When did that happen?